Cyclone Ockhi: Spike in dengue cases in Mumbai likely, say doctors

The mosquito-borne viral disease usually dips at this time of the year

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala | Mumbai | Updated: December 6, 2017 4:09 am
Cyclone ockhi in mumbai According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), rains due to the cyclone are expected to last till Thursday afternoon in Mumbai. (Representational Image)

Following the unseasonal rain in the city on Tuesday, doctors have predicted a spike in dengue cases within weeks, though the mosquito-borne viral disease usually sees a significant decline during this period.

“After the cyclone, cases of viral infections are expected to rise. We will have to monitor over next few days whether rains persist and waterlogging is recorded in parts of the city. Depending on weather conditions, we will issue notifications to health posts and hospitals,” said the civic body’s executive health officer Dr Padmaja Keskar.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), rains due to the cyclone are expected to last till Thursday afternoon in Mumbai. It may lead to fresh mosquito breeding in areas where the water remains stagnant. “There is no health warning even as the rains have come unexpectedly,” said Dr Minni Khetarpal, deputy executive health officer, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), adding that new dengue cases have reduced after a spike from August to October.

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The BMC recorded 412 dengue and 563 malaria cases in September, which declined to 217 dengue and 849 malaria cases in October. In October, the city witnessed one death due to dengue and malaria each. According to doctors, with temperature dropping in the last few days, cases of cough, cold and sneezing have escalated, and in certain cases got further aggravated in people already suffering from respiratory problems or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

“I have been treating 8-10 patients every day in the outpatient department for asthma or respiratory infections. Cough and cold is very common in this season. But most patients do not require hospitalisation,” said Dr Shahid Barmare, general physician with Kohinoor hospital in Kurla. He added that malaria and dengue cases are expected to witness a surge in the coming days. “The weather is conducive for mosquito breeding and for virus to multiply,” he said. Read | Cyclone ockhi: Mumbai traffic out of gear, low visibility on highways; trains, flights delayed

According to Dr Vijay Nandu, general physician with Bhatia Hospital, dengue cases had started declining in November but with fresh downpour, the infection may spread again.  “Currently, hospital admissions due to dengue is 5 per cent of total hospitalisation. We receive two or three dengue patients every day. Earlier, our hospital was flooded with dengue patients,” he said, adding: “H1N1 cases may come up, depending on how the virus grows.”

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