Complaints of diarrhoea, jaundice, gastroenteritis and typhoid cases have started trickling into city hospitals, thanks to intermittent spells of rains coupled with extremely hot and humid days.
OPDs in the medicine departments across hospitals are also choc-a-bloc with diarrhoea and typhoid cases. "Most patients have symptoms of diarrhoea besides complaints of vomiting and sore throat," said Dr Sushum Sharma, senior consultant and head, preventive health programme at Max Healthcare.
"Cultures show no pus cells, which means these are all viral infections caused by drinking impure water. People should not self-medicate and take antibiotics. Re-hydration is the only cure," Sharma added.
Doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Aiims), which receives maximum patients in the city, has also seen huge number of patients complaining of upset stomachs.
"We've got gastroenteritis, hepatitis A and few cases of typhoid, which are not unusual at this time of the year, as people, especially the children are not careful about the water they drink," said a doctor from the department of medicine at Aiims.
"People should avoid eating cut-fruits, juices and shakes."
The situation at Lok Nayak, the biggest Delhi government hospital, is no different. "Gastroenteritis and diarrhoea patient load is huge, but expected, as contaminated water leads to development of exotoxins in the body that cause almost instantaneous food poisoning, leading to diarrhoea," said Dr Richa Diwan, professor in the department of medicine at Lok Nayak.
While gastroenteritis - also known as stomach flu - is an inflammation of the stomach and small intestine and presents itself as acute diarrhoea, typhoid caused by bacteria. It is characterised by slowly progressing fever that goes as high as 104°F accompanied by diarrhoea.
Civic bodies, say doctors, have an important role to play. "The civic bodies should regularly chlorinate water and contamination should be checked in different localities," said a doctor.
Till they do, it is for people to stay away from contaminated food and drinking water as much as possible.