More than 5,600 Mumbaiites were diagnosed with malaria in June, 5,384 suffered from fever, 1680 were hospitalised with gastro enteritis and 100 tested positive for swine flu. In all, 15 deaths were reported in the city.
It rained diseases this June. But this may just be the trailer as the monsoon has just begun.
Experts say we need to brace up for more monsoon-related ailments and swine flu cases in the coming months.
“It rained heavily on June 18 and 19. Since the incubation period for diseases such as leptospirosis and dengue is between three to 20 days, we are likely to see more cases soon,” said Dr Daksha Shah, head of the civic epidemiology cell. The number of malaria cases this June is around 15 per cent higher than last June and gastro enteritis cases have also increased by 40 per cent.
While the rise in number of cases may seem alarming, civic health authorities say they are an indication of better surveillance and timely diagnosis. “It is a good sign that more patients are coming to hospitals for treatment. It shows that there is more awareness,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar.
Officials also pointed out that the number of deaths this June was lower than last June. “Three people died due to fever and five succumbed to malaria this June compared to 12 and six deaths respectively last June. Moreover, we had no deaths due to leptospirosis and dengue this month as opposed to one of each last June,” she said.
The influx of patients suffering from monsoon-related diseases has led to overcrowding at public hospitals as usual. At the women’s ward in Sion Hospital on Wednesday, around 12 patients were lying on mattresses on the floor because all beds were occupied.
The increased construction activity is being blamed for the rise in malaria cases as construction sites are prime breeding spots for mosquitoes.