Three people have died due to dengue and two due to leptospirosis infection following heavy rainfall that led to flooding in parts of Mumbai on August 29. The city has been battling a spurt in mosquito-borne dengue, with a significant 1,659 suspected cases being treated by government hospitals. Of these, 164 cases have been confirmed through tests in the first fortnight of September.
In addition, at least 34 people contracted leptospirosis, with most cases caused by wading through waterlogged areas. Chances of catching the infection are higher when those injured or having cuts come in contact with water infected by the bacteria. The infection has affected a younger population — all deaths due to dengue and leptospirosis were recorded in the age group less than 35.
The western suburbs were affected more. A 34-year-old male succumbed to dengue in Bandra, while a 9-year-old boy in Juhu became the second casualty. A 27-year-old male died due to leptospirosis in Andheri. Medical reports showed he had an open wound in the leg and waded through water, which led to the infection.
A child died of dengue in Dharavi while a 19-year-old man succumbed to leptospirosis in Ghatkopar. He, too, had waded through water. All these deaths occurred between September 1 and 15. Dengue is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito that breeds in fresh water while leptospirosis spreads by bacteria from infected rodents. To combat leptospirosis, which is commonly transmitted by mice or cattle, the insecticide department killed 6,639 rats by poisoning their burrows in September. To prevent mosquito breeding, 31,100 premises have been fogged and 1,974 breeding sites of mosquitoes destroyed.
“Residents also need to be vigilant and clear water stagnation in their house by draining excess water from drums, tanks, flower beds and refrigerator trays,” said insecticide officer Dr Rajan Naringrekar. Following the deaths due to dengue and leptospirosis, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation surveyed a population of 12,955 people to screen suspected fever cases and treat them.
Health experts have advised that those suffering from high grade fever, vomiting, abdominal pain and breathlessness should consult doctors and avoid self medication. Doctors have observed that more men are getting infected due to dengue than women.