Mumbai sees its first leptospirosis death in October since 2015

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Published on Nov 14, 2019 12:15 AM IST
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ByRupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai

The city recently saw its first leptospirosis death in October since 2015 . Experts claim it could be a result of unseasonal rain in the month, which led to flooding in various parts of the city.

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease, which generally spreads to humans through contaminated water or by animal urine containing the bacteria of the genus Leptospira. The bacteria can enter the human body through unhealed wounds.

“This year, the city recorded a high amount of unseasonal rainfall, leading to a rise in the number of leptospirosis cases. Cyclone Kyarr also led to unprecedented rainfall, pushing the number of leptospirosis cases to 29 [in October],” said a senior health officer from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The number of leptospirosis cases this year (till October) was 233, with 11 deaths, compared to 218 in 2018, with 12 deaths, according to data from the public health department.

Dr Abhishek Maru, an expert on infectious diseases, advised people to take doxycycline if they had waded through flooded areas. “Changing weather and unseasonal rain provide the perfect breeding environment for the virus to spread. This is common when a city comes under the influence of cyclones,” he said.

Om Shrivastava, another expert on infectious diseases, said that the rise in the number of reported leptospirosis cases may be because of rising awareness and reporting. “The symptoms of leptospirosis are similar to other viral infections. Therefore, people should visit a doctor at the earliest,” said Shrivastava.

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