Records avaiable with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation indicate a 13 per cent rise in gastro intestinal ailments as compared to last year.
Doctors blame this spurt on rising mercury levels —there has been nearly two per cent increase in the average temperatures for summer this year as compared to previous years.
“There is no change in the disease pattern that could have lead to an increase in the cases. The culprit could be roadside food and low levels of hygiene, that lead to infections,” said Dr Daksha Shah, epidemiological cell officer, BMC.
As many as 826 gastroenteritis cases were recorded this year in March against 736 cases for the same period last year, the municipal data said.
Similarly, 825 people visited civic hospitals until April 25 as compared to 799 cases last year. Average temperatures for the month of April was 35.3 degree Celsius as compared to 33.47 last year.
“In summer, there are more cases of gastrointestinal infections are seen. But this year the patient load is higher,” said Dr Khusrav Bajan, physician, Hinduja hospital. “Most patients had fallen sick after eating roadside food or drinking juices at unhygienic places.”
The highest temperature this year in April was 41 degree Celsius as compared to 37 degrees last year. Arun Kumar, forecasting officer at Meterological department said: “The temperatures have been slightly higher this year. But they haven’t crossed the abnormally above normal mark,” said Kumar.
Doctors said hygiene should be given importance. “Most of our patients tell us that ate ice-golas or had drinks, to beat the heat,” said Dr Altaf Patel, physician at Jaslok hospital.