Incidence of diseases rises in Delhi after heavy rains

August 23rd, 2010 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) The heavy rains in the capital this monsoon season have not just brought potholes, water logging and traffic snarls, but also a spell of viral and bacterial diseases.
Doctors in the capital’s hospitals say a marked increase has been registered in the cases of swine flu, viral fever, dengue, gastroenteritis, jaundice and typhoid.

“The number of patients suffering from stomach infections and viral infections is more this year. During heavy rains, sewage gets mixed with drinking water which contributes to the rise,” said Dr Rommel Tickoo, a physician from Delhi’s Max Hospital.

Also this year, the gastro infections are slightly more severe, he added.

While the incidents of malaria, dengue and swine flu have been rising in the last one month, hospital OPDs have been flooded with cases of other monsoon-borne ailments also.

Doctors attribute the rise to humid weather and water-logging.

“Bacterial and viral growth is facilitated by the humid weather. The water-logging is also providing easy breeding ground to mosquitoes and other bacterial disease carriers,” Tickoo said.

According to experts from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), rain water gets mixed with water stored underground and in water tanks and it contaminates the latter with ecoli bacterial growth, which then affects the consumers. This leads to a rapid rise of such water-borne diseases during the first few weeks of monsoon, they said.

Advising taking extra caution on food and hygiene, doctors say simple measures like washing hands regularly and taking care of skin is a must to prevent bacterial growth on the body.

“Food items must be kept covered. It is very important to wash hands after coming from public places and before having food,” says Tickoo.

Getting wet in the rain is also best avoided, according to Tickoo, who says it increases the risk of catching respiratory diseases.

“Children must be given hot food items and boiled water as a strict precaution from these illnesses. Food from outside should be avoided,” he added.

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