As the monsoon gets ready to leave it seems to be taking its entourage of diseases along. Doctors across the city have noticed a drop in malaria cases over the past few weeks.
Cases of viral fever and sore throat are on the rise because of the change in weather, doctors said.
“We have seen a rise in cases of viral fever but it is not substantial. The cases testing positive for malaria or dengue have reduced so the fever is mostly viral,” said Dr Harish Mohanty from Nanavati hospital, Vile Parle. “As the monsoon recedes, the cases of fever will also go down.”
Civic health authorities are optimistic that the worst is over. “With a change in weather, cases of viral infection are normal. Respiratory infections, asthma attacks and cases of aggravated allergies are also common,” said Dr RV Rananvare, dean of Nair hospital in Mumbai Central. “It is also the season for viral conjunctivitis.”
Monsoon-related illnesses are on a decline, which comes as a relief to doctors and patients. “Malaria was bad this year. We had at least 15 new cases every day through the rainy season. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a substantial drop in malaria cases,” Dr Meeta Adhiya of Peddar Polyclinic said.
“I have definitely seen a fall in malaria patients in the past few weeks,” said Dr Shishir Shah, a physician.
Doctors also feel the rise in the number of dengue cases has also been arrested. “We do get these many cases at this time every year and while we have seen sporadic cases of dengue, it is not alarming so far,” said Dr TP Lahane, dean of JJ hospital, Byculla.
Data from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) reveals that in September 2009 city hospitals recorded 244 cases of dengue while the number of cases registered until September 17 this year was 138.
“Dengue is contingent on the rains. Last year, the rains came in July while this year they were here in June, which shows in the cases of dengue registered,” said BMC executive health officer GT Ambe.
Doctors say basic hygiene practices and ensuring clean drinking water and food can help avoid viral infections.
“Viral infection mostly spreads in congested and unclean areas,” Dr Mohanty said.