As the mercury soars, so does cases of gastroenteritis, typhoid in Mumbai

  • Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 12, 2015 22:27 IST

There has been a rise in people treated for gastroenteritis and typhoid, said Mumbai doctors.

A reason for this could be the water and juices that people tend to drink at roadside stalls owing to the hot weather. According to doctors, these drinks could be contaminated with the bacteria that cause these diseases.

“I am treating two children with acute dehydration as a result of gastroenteritis,” said Dr Sameer Sadawarte, paediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Mulund. “Unfortunately many doctors tend to prescribe antibiotics to children for gastroenteritis which can cause kidney failure and damage bone cartilage. As gastroenteritis is a self-limiting disease, parents and doctors should look at managing the symptoms.”

Doctors said that both typhoid and gastroenteritis are waterborne diseases and common in such weather.

“I have a few patients with typhoid infection,” said Dr Pratit Samdani, physician, Breach Candy Hospital, who has been treating at least two patients every day with gastroenteritis and typhoid infection. “Most patients are responding to the routine medications.”

Doctors advise people to avoid consuming food and water from places where it is not filtered and disinfected. Also, stale food can be conducive for the growth of germs causing gastroenteritis, they said.

Typhoid is caused by salmonella typhi and causes acute nausea, abdominal pain among other symptoms. In 20% of the cases typhoid could prove fatal if not treated properly, said doctors.

Dr Shahid Barmare, physician, Kohinoor Hospital, Kurla, said that at least one in every three patients he consults have been complaining of gastroenteritis related symptoms.

“Most of the patient’s stool samples who were hospitalised with gastroenteritis symptoms tested positive for E. coli bacteria,” said Barmare, who has admitted at least 10 patients with gastroenteritis as they had acute dehydration and loose motions.

E. coli is a type of faecal coliform bacteria commonly found in the intestines of animals and humans.

Public health experts said that the number of gastroenteritis and typhoid cases would rise further once it rains in the city.

“We expect that the cases will rise further as rains will lead to further contamination,” said Samdani.

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