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Heat and thirst = diseases

In this scorching heat, the first thing a person naturally seeks is water. But this thirst quencher is landing many Delhiites in hospitals these days, reports Jaya Shroff Bhalla.

delhi Updated: Apr 14, 2010 23:22 IST
Jaya Shroff Bhalla

In this scorching heat, the first thing a person naturally seeks is water. But this thirst quencher is landing many Delhiites in hospitals these days.

“The cases of water-borne diseases such as typhoid, gastroenteritis and hepatitis A are at least 30% higher this year than during the same period last year,” said Dr Randeep Guleria, professor in department of medicine at AIIMS.

“We usually see this kind of a patient rush in the peak summer months (late May and early June), but this time the water-borne diseases have made an early entry.”

The situation at Lok Nayak, the biggest Delhi government hospital, was no different.

“We haven’t seen many typhoid cases yet but gastroenteritis and diarrhoea patients are coming in huge numbers. These are all water borne infections caused due to contaminated food and consumption of dirty water,” said Dr M.K. Daga, professor in the department of medicine at Lok Nayak.

Gastroenteritis, also known as gastric flu that is caused by virus, is inflammation of the stomach and small intestine and presents itself as acute diarrhoea, whereas typhoid, which is caused by bacteria, is characterised by a slowly progressive fever as high as 104 °F accompanied by profuse sweating, gastroenteritis and diarrhoea.

“Many of these patients of typhoid fever are nalidixic acid resistant, which means they take long time to respond to the routine antibiotics given to them. The reality is that these cases are becoming more common, as bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics over time,” said Dr Naveet Wig, associate professor at AIIMS.

Consume boiled or filtered water and do not eat from roadside dhabas, the doctors said.