Mumbai witnesses spike in gastroenteritis with 2037 cases reported in 2022

Mumbai: A report from the health department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) shows a rise in gastroenteritis cases in Mumbai
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Published on May 22, 2022 06:47 PM IST
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Mumbai: A report from the health department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) shows a rise in gastroenteritis cases in Mumbai. While in 2020, the city saw 2549 gastroenteritis cases, in 2021 there were 3110 cases. In 2022, till date, the city has already seen 2037 cases in civic-run hospitals. Dr Mangala Gomare, executive health officer, BMC, however, said the gastroenteritis cases are less when compared to the numbers in pre-Covid days. “The cases are definitely more than what we saw in the last two years but less than what was seen in pre-Covid days. We are keeping a watch on clusters of cases of gastroenteritis. But there are none so far,” she said.

As per the BMC report, 8076 cases were reported in 2018 and 7785 gastro cases were seen in 2019.

Dr Gomare added that the BMC is doing water surveillance to keep a watch on possible water contamination. “We will also be testing the ice samples from the ice factories. We are keeping a close watch if there is any trend in gastroenteritis cases from any part of the city. We also feel that people have become complacent in hand washing. Hand hygiene can keep many diseases away,” she said.

Private hospitals are also seeing the rise as people are eating out more and viral gastroenteritis is also on the rise.

Agreeing that the number of gastroenteritis cases seen by them is much more than in the pandemic years, Dr Neeraj Tulara, infectious disease specialist, Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital- Powai said, “We are seeing almost 20 cases daily of such cases and out of that almost 20% requiring hospital admission since symptoms initially are severe. Most patients have complaints of persistent vomiting, loose watery stools, severe abdominal cramps, and severe weakness.”

He said, in a few cases, patients also had a fever. “Most people get dehydrated on day one itself and that’s the reason few of them require to be admitted. Most of these cases are viral gastroenteritis and settle down in 2-3 days. However, they continue to have a lot of weaknesses that persist for a few days. Common reasons for the sharp rise in such cases are people going out and eating out more often than before, extremely hot weather which spoils the food items very fast and of course not taking precautions while eating outside.

Dr Shankar Zanwar, gastroenterologist, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central said that gastroenteritis is affecting a younger generation less than 20 years. “One should avoid drinking water from unhygienic places. Use Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) or simple salt and sugar water if you pass many stools. It will ensure one doesn’t get dehydrated and needs hospitalisation,” he said. Dr Pratit Samdanj, physician, Breach Candy Hospital said he sees 1-2 cases every day. “Most of them are viral. Rotavirus is in circulation because of which we are seeing the rise too. It is also because of contaminated food/water. People are eating out more,” he said.

Dr Anil Ballani, consultant physician, Lilavati Hospital said, “Gastroenteritis has been on a rise for the last few weeks. People come with symptoms of watery motions, stomach cramp and weakness. It is taking them at least 3-4 days to recover completely.”

He said in the last two years, the cases were less as the lockdown was there and people were homebound and eating outside food less. “Life is back to normal. People have started going to work. While checking the history with most of the patients, we find that most of them, to beat the heat, drink roadside coolers like sherbet, and fruit juices. Eating out is more frequent these days. I advise my patients to drink either boiled water or mineral water,” added Dr Ballani.

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