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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Water-borne ailments on the rise this yr

Mumbai: Concerted efforts by the civic body and the state have meant that malaria has lost its sting as compared to last year. But it seems water-borne ailments compensated for the declining parasite load as more people sought admission to hospitals due to enteric diseases than for malaria this year. 

    Ailments like gastroenteritis, jaundice, typhoid have only shown a persistent increase in the last three moths. According to the BMC records, enteric diseases alone have forced over 3,000 people this month to seek hospitalization, besides claiming five lives. On the other hand, malaria has affected 3,037, of which 2,120 were admitted. 
    Interestingly, statistics show that there has been an 80% reduction in the parasite load in the community as compared to last year. Yet malaria has remained the top killer. The disease claiming 22 lives in the last two months as against gastroenteritis, which claimed five. Doctors are worried about the 30% increase in gastroenteritis cases this year as compared to last year. Jaundice, too, has 
emerged as a major worry after 225 people were admitted to various hospitals over the last couple of months. 
    Pregnant women in particular have borne the brunt of ailments caused by contaminated 
water in the city. In the last three months, as many as 11 pregnant women have succumbed to hepatitis. Executive health officer of the BMC, Dr Anil Bandivadekar said that knowing the vulnerability of women during pregnancy, thumb rules like drinking boiled water should never be ignored. "Water contamination has been an issue and this year, enteric diseases have been dominant. Citizens can do a lot at their own households to prevent this," he said. 
    Intensivist of P D Hinduja Hospital Dr Khusrav Bhajan echoed the concerns of other 
doctors that water-borne ailments could soon overthrow others to top the disease graph. "There is a huge increase in typhoid across the city. We are treating at least three patients every day," he said. He added that in a majority of the cases, fever does not subside for the first 10 days."Blood culture reports come in only after a couple of days. But doctors should not delay treatment," he said. Over 100 people have sought admission in several hospitals for typhoid this month but private doctors say the "numbers are underreported".


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