The hepatitis virus, particularly A and E, are thriving in the city, with at least 18 new patients being admitted to just the municipal-run Kasturba Hospital on Tuesday.
The virus gets into the system through infected food and water and causes liver inflammation.
“Only two of the patients are residents of Mumbai, the rest are from the neighbouring districts,” said Dr Mini Khetarpal, the chief of the BMC’s epidemiology cell.
Khetarpal said an average of four or five cases of the hepatitis E infection were reported every day. The two cases of hepatitis E from the city were reported in Worli and Churchgate, the civic officials said.
Doctors said not all patients with virus require hospitalisation.
“Patients with persistent vomiting need to be admitted as they tend to be severely dehydrated. Most times, the infection can be managed with symptomatic treatment,” said Dr Shahid Barmare, a physician at the Kohinoor Hospital in Kurla. Dr Barmare is treating five patients.
Symptomatic treatment focuses on relieving symptoms, including jaundice, by giving patients fluids to reduce the dehydration and medicines to bring down the liver inflammation.
At least 80% of the patients recover with symptomatic treatment, Dr Barmare said.
“But, one of our patients has developed liver failure because of the virus.”
All doctors warned against eating food from roadside stalls. “Many patients admitted to the hospital with hepatitis E have been consuming road-side food,” said a senior doctor from the Kasturba Hospital.
“I just discharged a pregnant woman who developed hepatitis E. The elderly, children and pregnant women should avoid eating food from outside,” said Dr Pratit Samdani, a physician at the Breach Candy Hospital.