Dr Chandrakant Pawar, head of Kasturba Hospital at Chinchpokli, the city’s only hospital for infectious diseases, has contracted the dengue virus and has been admitted to ward 23 of the civic-run hospital. “We found a breeding site near the water cooler in the hospital’s outpatient department,” said an official from the BMC’s insecticide department.
Apart from Dr Pawar, two employees of the hospital’s nursing department have also contracted the disease, said a source at the hospital. This indicates the possibility of more breeding sites on the premises. Kasturba Hospital treats patients with infectious diseases such as dengue, malaria, swine flu and chickenpox. An official said the hospital stands on the border of E Ward (Byculla) and G-South Ward (Elphinstone), areas that have seen the highest number of dengue cases this year.
The official added that a single breeding site can lead to several cases of dengue. “Dengue can be curbed only if breeding sites are completely eliminated. This year, we have found breeding spots on monsoon sheds erected at large complexes and bungalows,” said R Naringrekar, chief insecticide officer, BMC.
This month, 2,496 people across the city have been treated for symptoms commonly associated with dengue. The BMC’s epidemiology cell recorded 77 confirmed cases of the disease last week. Since January, 469 people in Mumbai have contracted dengue, spread by the aedes ageypti mosquito, which is known to breed in clean water. About 60% of patients this year are between the ages of 13 and 30, according to BMC records, and three people have died of the disease since January. Doctors at private hospitals say they are treating an average of four to five people with dengue every day.
“Dengue patients are at risk of multiple infections. Most patients this month have had a preceding respiratory infection before being diagnosed with dengue,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, an infectious-disease consultant.