Experts warn of an increase in gastroenteritis cases due to heat
Summer heat, combined with other factors like intake of contaminated food and water, has led to a spurt in the number of stomach infection cases being reported in the city
Summer heat, combined with other factors like intake of contaminated food and water, has led to a spurt in the number of stomach infection cases being reported in the city. Doctors at city hospitals claim that there is a 25 to 30% increase in the number of people seeking treatment, causing rise in gastroenteritis cases in the last couple of weeks. Doctors have witnessed a surge in cases in all age groups
A large number of people report abdominal distress when the mercury rises. The infection starts with stomach flu secondary to viral infection in some cases. Patients are coming with infection and dehydration with severe symptoms of stomach cramp, pain, vomiting, fever and diarrhoea. Doctors have also witnessed a rise in cases of mouth ulcers due to heat.
Dr Pradeep Suryawanshi, paediatrician at Sahyadri Hospital, said any change in temperature leads the bugs to grow. These bugs grow in water and food. During such a transition of temperature infection rate rises. “The infections are related to gut and respiratory. The cases are usually seen in children below five-years. Good hand hygiene is recommended which is always neglected by children,” he said.
According to the doctors, bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli (E coli) are among India’s most common causes of food poisoning. Water and food contamination in hot weather is one of the leading causes behind the gastroenteritis case. The contamination can happen any time while preparing food, storing or even while eating if the hands are not clean and can cause food borne illnesses. Dehydration in such cases can make the situation worse, said the doctors.
Dr Abhijit Lodha, physician at Ruby Hall Clinic, said, “The cases have increased in adults too. Probiotics and good hydration is recommended in mild cases and in moderate cases antibiotics are given. Only in the severe cases hospitalisation is recommended. High fever known as typhoid causing pain, fatigue, weakness, stomach ache and even headache can occur during summer,” he said.
Dr Avdhut Bodamwad, of Lopmudra Hospital, said, along with the stomach flu the number of patients with Canker sores or mouth ulcers have also increased due to heat. “These ulcers become common during the summer especially if your daily meal includes spicy food and is nutrient deficient. Individuals with intake of excess acidic foods are prone to get mouth ulcers easily. Usually ulcer heals by itself within one week ,” he said.