Mumbai: After lepto and swine flu, cholera cases on the rise

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 01, 2015 22:25 IST

Before you enjoy that plate of street food, take care. In July this year, eight Mumbaiites contracted cholera, as against the three cases confirmed in July 2014.

The increase in cholera cases comes on the heels of a similar rise in leptospirosis and swine flu.

The high number of cholera cases suggests that vibrio cholera, the bacterium which causes the intestinal infection, is in ‘wide circulation’ in the city, said doctors.

You can catch the infection if you consume food or water contaminated with vibrio cholera, said doctors. Most patients start showing symptoms, mainly severe diarrhoea, between one and five days.

Among the cases reported so far, one of the patients lives in Sandhurst Road and one in Goregaon, according to the civic epidemiology cell.

With most monsoon-related ailments registering a rise, the public health scenario in Mumbai is worsening, said civic officials. In July last year, only one case of swine flu was detected. However, this July saw 184 people contracting the airborne infection, of which 28 died.

“We had seven cases of swine flu treated at the hospital in the past fortnight, including two children. Some had to be transferred to tertiary hospitals because they developed complications,” said Dr Anil Suchak, who runs a hospital in Malad. Several patients with leptospirosis were also treated at the hospital, Dr Suchak said.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection transmitted through the urine of animals infected with the leptospira bacterium.

This year, researchers from the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Indian Council of Medical Research, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands found that the bacterium that killed 16 people “never existed” in Mumbai earlier.

Experts said the identification of the new bacterium suggests animals other than mice should be screened for carrying the infection source. In fact, leptospirosis cases have increased by 82% this July, compared to July last year.

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