Don’t ignore that fever: Mumbai reports first malaria deaths of the year
In 2016, Mumbai had reported 5,845 cases and 12 deaths because of malaria. This year, 2,338 people have been diagnosed with malaria from January 1 to July 23.Updated: Aug 03, 2017, 09:23 IST
The city’s first malaria deaths were reported this year. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said two people died of the disease in July. Three more suspected deaths are under investigation.
In 2016, Mumbai had reported 5,845 cases and 12 deaths because of malaria. This year, 2,338 people have been diagnosed with malaria from January 1 to July 23. The BMC’s health department has not revealed the localities where the deaths have been reported.
Malaria is a parasitic disease that spreads between humans through the bite of infected female anopheles mosquitoes. Post the bite, the parasite enters the human bloodstream, invades the liver and then the red blood cells. Initial symptoms include fever, headache, sweats, chills and vomiting.
“The death review committee is still studying the causes and co-morbidities of the deaths and as of now no irregularity in terms of symptoms or severity of the disease has been noticed. We will have a clearer picture once all the five deaths are reviewed,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer of the BMC.
Experts said the infection of plasmodium falciparum— one of the four parasites that cause the infection — leads to two-thirds of the deaths and cases in India in recent times.
“P falciparum can affect multiple organs, including the lungs, guts, kidneys, as per what’s documented. Personally, I haven’t seen a lot of malaria cases in Mumbai, but when diagnosed, the infection needs to be treated aggressively,” said Dr Om Srivastava, infectious disease expert.