Health authorities are concerned after an outbreak of Hepatitis E in Kurla, especially its western parts, much before the monsoon hits the city. Officials blamed the spurt in cases on civic work on Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg that has contaminated drinking water supply.
Hepatitis A and E cases recorded a 102 per cent jump from April to May in Mumbai this year, against a 25 per cent drop from 100 to 75 cases in the same period last year. In May, Mumbai recorded 178 Hepatitis A and E cases. In March, there were 95 cases and in April 88 cases.
In Kurla, 50-60 cases have been recorded since May, from both slums and residential housing societies. In critical cases, hospitalisation is being advised. In Zen Hospital, Chembur, director Dr Roy Patankar said that while several patients were being treated in the out-patient department, two critical patients were admitted. Of them, a 50-year-old Kurla woman suffered acute vomiting and jaundice, requiring admission for three days.
The disease spreads through Hepatitis E virus (HEV) present in contaminated water and food. It affects the liver. Most patients complain of vomiting, dehydration and prolonged infection.
BMC officials told The Indian Express that drainage work on LBS Marg hit one of the drinking water pipelines in April. “There was also water shortage and several people used suction pumps to draw water during non-supply hours from the contaminated pipeline,” an official from L Ward said.
The symptoms take five-six weeks to emerge. In mid-May, the cases shot up. At least 10 family members of Saeeda Khan, corporator of L Ward, were infected. “They did not require hospitalisation and are stable after treatment,” Khan said.
Various BMC departments, including water, health, road and traffic, have come together to deal with the outbreak on a war-footing. When contacted, Dr Jeetendra Jadhav, medical officer of L ward, said, “The water department has plugged all pipeline leakages and health officials are visiting houses to check for possible cases.” He claimed that the situation was under control.
In Kohinoor hospital, however, Dr Shahid Barmare said he was treating four-five cases everyday. “We are seeing young people and pregnant women affected by Hepatitis,” he said.
Dr Krishnakumar Pimpale, medical superintendent of Kurla Bhabha hospital, said it is common to record Hepatitis cases in Kurla region during the monsoon but not before. “Since it is an infectious disease, most patients are referred to Kasturba hospital,” he said.