There were six times more leptospirosis cases reported between January and June this year, when compared to the same period last year, according to the recent data released by the civic body. This year, there have been 30 cases so far as against 5 last year during the same period.
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that spreads between humans and animals. The infection is caused by a bacterium called leptospira and spreads mainly during monsoon, when humans get in touch with the urine or excreta of infected animals such as rats, cattles and dogs.
“Definitely, the numbers are more this year. However these cases are from scattered areas, so is not very alarming,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, city’s executive health officer.
Officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said they have killed over lakh rats this year, to control the spread of the disease. Moreover, they have notified 326 tabelas (cattle sheds) to get their animals vaccinated and treated, if they are infected.
With the city receiving continuous rainfall, there has also been a spurt in other monsoon related ailments such as jaundice, typhoid and gastroenteritis. The BMC has recorded 797 cases of jaundice until June this year, as compared to 582 cases in the same period, last year. Health experts said hepatitis infections lead to jaundice.
In fact, the first hepatitis-related death of the season was reported last week when a five-year-old, Wadala resident died at Kasturba medical Hospital, Chinchpokli. Many doctors are advising people to keep away from street-food. “There has definitely been a rise in the number gastroenteritis infections. We are also seeing some cases of Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E infections which are caused by contaminated food and water,” said Dr Pratit Samdani, associate professor of medicine, Bhatia hospital, Grant Road.
Doctors also said that they are seeing many cases of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue. Dr Anita Mathew, infectious disease specialist, LTMG Sion Hospital, said, she saw four cases of dengue last week. “In most cases, the patients have high fever and low platelet counts. We are immediately starting them on anti-malaria and dengue treatment,” she added.
The data given by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) indicates that there were 482 hospitalisations last month owing to malaria and 153 because of dengue.