Leptospirosis is back, claims first victim of the season

Jun 25, 2013, 06:33 IST | Anuradha Varanasi

A 52-year-old man, who had been suffering from fever and body ache for over a week, was diagnosed with the disease when he was wheeled into the hospital; family says that some dirty water had entered his ears when he was working on the roof

Seasonal diseases have followed the heavy showers to the city. After a 52-year-old man succumbed to leptospirosis in Chembur’s Inlaks hospital, medical experts are warning citizens to take necessary precautions and get themselves checked if symptoms such as fever and muscle pain persist beyond 48 hours.

According to Ravindra Yashwante’s relatives, he might have contracted the disease while plastering the roof of his house

The deceased Ravindra Yashwante had contracted fever about a week ago but was admitted to the hospital only on Saturday evening. He had high fever and his white blood cells count had dropped suddenly. “By the time he was brought to the hospital, his condition was very poor. As soon as he was admitted we conducted tests, which confirmed that he was suffering from leptospirosis,” said Dr Madhuri Nair, administrative officer at Inlaks hospital.

Yashwante, who used to work in Azad Maidan and lived in Batlivala Chawl in Marine Lines, was visiting relatives in Govandi, when he had to be rushed to the hospital. “We put Yashwante on ventilator support for the entire night but despite our best efforts, he died due to leptospirosis at 1.50 am on Sunday,” added Dr Nair.

She further said that this was the first case of a patient succumbing to any kind of monsoon-related ailment this year. Family members said that Yashwante had fever for over a week and had visited a local physician who prescribed some medicines. “We didn’t really expect him to die so suddenly, as we thought he had a mild fever,” said Sunita Kamble, a relative.

The family suspects that he contracted this water borne disease while applying plaster on their chawl’s roof a few days ago. “Some contaminated water fell on his ears while he was clearing out the roof and we think that this is how he developed this disease. He complained of joint pain and fever the next day,” added Kamble.

Yashwante’s kin are now anxious about their future, as he was the sole breadwinner of his family. “He has three children and we can only hope one of them manages to get a job to support the family,” said an emotional Sunita. Leptospirosis is transmitted to humans and animals through contaminated water. The disease spreads when bacteria from urine-contaminated water enter the body through wounds such as cuts and abrasions. Bacteria enters the body through mucous membranes in nostrils, lips or ears.

BMC’s chief epidemiologist Dr Mangala Gomare said she wasn’t aware of the death. “We haven’t received any notification from the hospital yet but we’ll be updated with the files regarding monsoon ailments on Tuesday. However, there has been no increase in the number of leptospirosis cases in the city,” said Dr Gomare.

Symptoms of leptospirosis
High fever (anywhere between 100-104 degree C)
Muscle pains experienced around the calves and lower back
Loss of appetite
Skin rashes

Number of leptospirosis cases reported in the city till June 19 

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