Maharashtra heat wave: 7 dead, 440 in hospital due to rising temperatures
Doctors said the high temperatures aid rapid multiplication of bacteria and viruses which then cause a number of gastrointestinal infectionsUpdated: May 26, 2019, 00:55 IST
Since the start of this year, seven people have died and 440 others hospitalised due to heatstroke in Maharashtra. Doctors have also sighted an increase in the cases of gastroenteritis, throat infections, respiratory problems and flu due to high temperatures.
An 80-year-old woman from Aurangabad was the first person in the state to die of heatstroke in the last week of March. As per the public health department, as of May 23, two deaths each were reported from Aurangabad and Hingoli. Parbhani, Beed and Dhule have also reported one death each due to heatstroke.
Majority of cases for heatstroke hospitalisation were reported from Akola (186), Nagpur (156), Latur (68), and Nashik (23). The public health department has been sending repeated advisories to districts with high temperature and humidity. “The advisories are sent based on weekly temperature conditions and prediction data from the Indian Meteorology Department [IMD]. In our district and sub-district hospitals, we have set up heat clinics where the patients are being treated effectively,” said Dr P Awte, state surveillance officer.
Residents are advised to avoid stepping out between noon and 5pm, and reduce the intake of carbonated drinks, alcohol, tea and coffee, which may further decrease water levels in the body.
Doctors said the high temperatures aid rapid multiplication of bacteria and viruses which then cause a number of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections. “Rise in consumption of roadside cold drinks and juices have caused a considerable increase in the number of patients with throat infections and flu. People shouldn’t eat food items kept outside the refrigerator for over two to three hours as rapid bacterial growth due to humidity and temperature also causes food poisoning,” said Dr Pradip Shah, internal medicine specialist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.
In Mumbai, 2,777 cases of gastroenteritis have been reported this year from January 1 to April 31. Health officials have advised citizens to increase protein intake and avoid eating stale food. Due to the rise in temperature and possibility of suffocation, residents are advised not to leave pets and children in closed vehicles.