Change in temps causes rise in cases of dengue-like illness BMC health report

Mumbai: Cases of dengue-like illness in the city have increased by 28 per cent. According to the civic health department, from October 1 to October 15, there were 109 confirmed cases of dengue and over 1,970 cases of dengue-like illness, compared to 105 confirmed dengue cases and 1,536 cases of the latter during the same period in September.

“Change in temperatures has caused a rise in cases of dengue-like illness,” according to doctors in civic hospitals.

Dr Harshad Limaye, consultant, internal medicine, Nanavati Super Specialty Hospital, said there is no specific variation in terms of monsoon disease trend as compared to last year.

“With the end of monsoon and rise in temperatures, the city will witness a gradual drop in monsoon diseases. Along with mass awareness and climatic changes, civic efforts for mosquito eradication and rat population control must have helped decrease monsoon diseases as compared to last year in Mumbai,” he said.

The report submitted by the civic health department also states there were 240 cases of malaria,18 cases of leptospirosis, 45 cases of hepatitis, three cases of H1N1 and 172 cases of gastroenteritis recorded in civic hospitals.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are 190 million cases of dengue reported worldwide, of which 96 million cases require treatment. In India, there is a 25 per cent increase each year, mainly attributed to ineffective preventive steps to check mosquito breeding.

Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, public health department, said, community awareness with information, education and communication (IEC) on the symptoms was organised across civic wards. There are dispensaries offering doxycycline treatment along with other medicines for all fever patients, to minimise leptospirosis and gastro cases. “Activities like daily disease surveillance, early diagnosis and treatment, implementation of immediate control measures, IEC activities, prompt analysis of reports and management guidelines by epidemiology department have ensured a drop in such cases,” said a health official.

Dr Om Shrivastava, an infectious diseases expert, said that the sudden change in temperature makes the body vulnerable to certain diseases. Constant oscillation between hot, humid and wet weather makes it conducive for micro-organisms to reproduce and thrive.

“People need to see a doctor immediately, as the symptoms are quite similar to those of dengue, malaria, leptospirosis and chikungunya. They should take medication as prescribed by the doctor and not attempt any home remedies,” he added.