Doctors at major civic hospitals will study all cases of leptospirosis that are reported to them this year, to find out if the disease was transmitting through unconventional modes.
Medics say in several cases of leptospirosis, patients who came in said they had no prior history of walking through flooded rain water. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection, which typically transmits to humans when they come in contact with flooded rain water that contains urine of infected animals, commonly rats. However, doctors said they had been treating leptospirosis patients during months when there are no rains.
“The study will find out how the patients who don’t walk through flooded water contracted the disease. It is possible that they could have got it after consuming water or food that is infected with the bacteria,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, the city’s executive health officer.
Even after the rains stopped, a total of 33 leptospirosis cases were reported last month. The disease has claimed six lives this year.
While people living around cattle sheds are at the highest risk of contracting the disease, Dr Keskar said that is surprising as not many cases were from there. “It may be that people living around the cattle sheds have built some form of immunity. The study will also try to find this out,”she said.
A doctor from the department of community medicine, KEM hospital, Parel who will lead the study said that it will take six months to compile the results. “We are writing the protocols and will start the study soon,” he said.