With the monsoon well settled in the city, at least three leptospirosis deaths have taken place in last one week with the patients’ condition worsening in less than four days despite hospitalisation.
According to the civic health department, the death toll due to the bacteria-infected disease has reached four so far in July. Last year, close to 20 deaths were recorded.
“We have conducted PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test on all three and found it positive for leptospirosis infection,” said Dr Minnie Khetarpal, deputy executive health officer at Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Of the three deaths, all at Sion hospital, one was a senior citizen living in Prem Nagar, Sion.
The 61-year-old homemaker suffered from fever and regular chills for five days before she was taken to Sion hospital on July 19.
According to the doctors, her condition deteriorated within two days. On July 21, she succumbed to multi-organ failure along with acute respiratory distress syndrome due to leptospirosis.
While the disease is known to transfer to humans through infected urine or excreta of animals that generally mixes with rain water on road, the 61-year-old had not waded through water in the days that led to the fever.
Like her, a 32-year-old painter from Chembur suffered from fever for five days after which his family admitted him at Sion hospital on July 19.
A medical report submitted to the civic officials stated that he was admitted in a breathless condition and died within a day due to intrapulmonary haemorrhage and liver disease. Blood tests carried after his death showed that he also suffered from leptospirosis infection that triggered complications.
On July 23, a carpenter living on Andheri Kurla Road also succumbed to the infection after suffering from fever for more than eight days.
According to his family, he was first admitted to Ameya Nursing Home for three days and later transferred to Sion hospital on July 18.
“He had severe loose motions, abdominal pain and low platelet count,” his medical report said.
Following these deaths, the BMC has carried out inspection in 1,730 houses in areas where the three patients lived to screen possible cases of leptospirosis. With heavy rains in July first week, the cases of leptospirosis have touched 244 so far across government hospitals.
According to Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer of BMC, 3,700 private doctors have been trained to detect early signs of leptospirosis to prevent advanced cases. “We have noticed that patients tend to visit local doctors first for fever. Due to delay in diagnosis, the disease can turn fatal which is why we are training private doctors as well,” she said.