Water-borne diseases see uptick in Delhi after rains
With Delhi monsoon finally setting in, doctors across the city have started noting an increase in gastro-intestinal infections such as diarrhoea, jaundice, and typhoid, and sporadic cases of dengue and malaria.
“The number started increasing from last week; there has been around a 30% increase in the number of patients with gastrointestinal diseases in my clinic. I also have a patients with suspected dengue. This usually happens every monsoon,” said Dr Srikant Sharma, senior consulting physician at Moolchand Hospital.
And, the numbers are likely to go up in the coming weeks.
“The rains have just begun. But, there could be an increase in the number of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and malaria as monsoon progresses and mosquito breeding increases,” said Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant of internal medicine at Indraprastha Apollo hospitals.
To prevent gastro-intestinal infections, doctors suggest following good hand-hygiene, drinking only boiled or properly filtered water, and avoid eating cut fruits or drinking juices from street-side vendors.
“The infections mainly spread because people end up having contaminated food or water and can be prevented by avoiding eating from street-vendors and carrying your own boiled or filtered water while stepping out. People should not step out in the rain and avoid the temperature changes as this weakens the body’s immune system,” said Dr Sharma.
To prevent mosquito-borne illnesses, doctors suggest preventing breeding by cleaning out all containers that hold water in and around the house once a week.
“Further people should use mosquito repellents and wear clothes with full sleeves and legs,” said Dr Sharma.
But, when is it time to go to a doctor? The experts suggest that people look out for these red flags.
“People should go to a doctor if their fever does not subside after three or four days, if the fever is more than 103 degrees, if the fever is accompanied by vomiting and diarrhoea, especially children and the old. Any headache, body and joint pain, accompanied with pain behind the eye, vomiting and nausea and bruising can also indicate dengue or chikungunya, so people should consult a doctor,” said Dr SP Byotra, head of the department of medicine at Sir Ganga Ram hospital.
He said that people can take paracetamol at home to bring down the fever, however, any other medicine, especially antibiotics, should be consumed only after consulting with a doctor.
Do not eat from street food vendors as much as possible
Carry your own water in a bottle when stepping out of home
Make sure to filter or boil and cool the water before drinking
Do not eat food that has been kept in the open, especially cut fruits
Do not eat stale food
After keeping in the refrigerator, do not reheat food more than once
Use mosquito repellents
Wear clothes with full sleeves and legs
Prevent breeding by cleaning out all water containers once every week
When to go to a doctor:
If the fever does not let up after three or four days
If the fever is very high, above 103 degrees
Vomiting and diarrhoea along with fever
Fever, body, joint or head ache along with pain behind the eye, and bruising