'Erratic weather to blame for rise in dengue, H1N1 cases'

Mumbai - Public health department sources say that first 10 days of August has seen more than 100 swine flu cases being reported in Mumbai.



By Nithin Belle

Published: Thu 13 Aug 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 13 Aug 2015, 8:50 AM

Erratic weather conditions of the past few days here has led to an upsurge in the outbreak of monsoon-related diseases including dengue and swine flu.
Doctors at public hospitals, private clinics and hospitals report a sudden increase in dengue and swine flu cases over the past week. Dr Jayesh Lele, president-elect, Indian Medical Association (IMA), told Khaleej Times here on Wednesday that irregular rains and fluctuating temperatures have caused the latest outbreak of diseases.
"Had the rains continued, the mosquito-breeding places would have been washed away," he said. "But the unpredictable rain pattern of the past few days have been ideal for breeding of mosquitoes, leading to the upsurge in diseases."
Dr Lele said the BMC has called a meeting of doctors on Thursday as part of its campaign to raise awareness about deadly monsoon diseases. Hundreds of people, especially in slum colonies, succumb to a host of diseases in Mumbai during the four-month rainy season. Besides dengue and swine flu, other common diseases include malaria, leptospirosis, cholera, jaundice and gastro-enteritis.
According to Dr Deepak Sawant, Maharashtra's Health Minister, the government has adequate stock of medicines - including Oseltamivir (Tamiflu), an essential medicine in the fight against swine flu.
Public health department sources say that first 10 days of August has seen more than 100 swine flu cases being reported in Mumbai. The deadly disease has claimed more than 30 lives in Mumbai so far.
Surprisingly, swine flu has now emerged as a year-round ailment, unlike in the past when it surfaced during the winter months.
When it rains heavily, low-lying areas in Mumbai get flooded. The civic administration is unable to drain out the water for days, especially in slum areas, which results in the outbreak of these diseases. Doctors say that sanitary conditions in many of the old localities in Mumbai are appalling, with raw sewage also finding its way in the narrow lanes. A recent Swachh Bharat survey ranked Mumbai a lowly 147th among all the major cities in India.
nithin@khaleejtimes.com


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