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Monsoon grounds city with jaundice, gastro

200 cases of jaundice reported across Mumbai in June. Bhavika Jain & Neha Bhayana report.

mumbai Updated: Jun 28, 2010 02:20 IST
Bhavika Jain & Neha Bhayana

This week, Manali Bajpayee was supposed to shop for her upcoming wedding. Instead, the 27-year-old Kandivli resident is bed-ridden, battling severe bouts of chills and fever.

"I have had stomach ache and fever since Thursday. My family doctor sent me for a urine test and reports confirmed that I have jaundice," said Bajpayee. "My whole week has been wasted."

The arrival of the monsoon has led to a rise in cases of jaundice across the city. Records maintained by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have revealed that at least 200 cases of jaundice, which a person contracts by consuming contaminated water, have been reported in Mumbai in June.

Most of these cases have been reported from central Mumbai and the western suburbs. More than six residents of Subhash Nagar near Arthur Road, Byculla, have been diagnosed with jaundice in the last two weeks.

"My eight-year-old daughter has been suffering from jaundice for a week," said Subhash Nagar resident Avinash Shah. Shah said the area had received contaminated water for a few days last week but after complaints to the ward office the problem was resolved. He suspects his daughter fell ill after drinking this water.

At least 1,042 people have been admitted to hospital with gastroenteritis since June 1. The number of complaints against water contamination has also increased and experts are making a direct link between this and the increasing cases of jaundice and other water-borne diseases.

The BMC's helpline, 108, has registered more than 100 complaints about water contamination in the last 27 days.

The average contamination levels across all wards at present are between 8.25 per cent and 25.5 per cent.

This is 11 per cent higher than what it was last year.

"Instances of contamination are high during monsoons, which may lead to the increase in cases of jaundice," said a civic health officer requesting anonymity.

Dr Daksha Shah from the BMC's epidemiology cell, however, said water contamination is not the only reason.

"People also contract jaundice because of eating contaminated food at street-side stalls and not maintaining proper hygiene," she said.

The city has also seen 1,550 cases of malaria and 18 of leptospirosis this month.

First Published: Jun 28, 2010 02:15 IST