Stomach Ailments Land City in Sick Bay
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04 July 2011
By, Sumitra Deb Roy
Stomach ailments are giving citizens and doctors a tough time this monsoon. More and more patients are being hospitalized due to diarrhoea, jaundice or gastroenteritis than fever or malaria. Doctors warn that those with underlying ailmentslikediabetes,hypertension andhigh blood pressure needtoexercisecaution.
The last two weeks have seen many Mumbaikars queuing up at out-patient departments with complaints of stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and loose motions. Most of these patients require hospitalization whilesomehavetobe admittedto intensivecareunits.Last month, morethan 1,893 patients were admitted to civic hospitals because of gastroenteritis. Of these, twohaddied.
Civicofficials are alsoworried aboutthe sudden virulence of gastroenteritis, which normally doesn’t keep people home for morethan 2-3 days.
Consultant physician at Jaslok and Saifee hospitals, Dr Mayur Patel said, “In the last 10 days, I have admitted at least five patients for gastroenteritis daily. It is surprising because the test results are not clear on whether itis a viralor a bacterialinfection.”
Consultant gastroenterologist atLilavatiHospitalin Bandra,Dr JayantBarve,said, “At least five patients suffering from stomach ailmentshadtobe admittedtotheintensive care units as there was a potential risk of multiple-organ failure. Kidney and liver are the first to take a hit. Patients with underlying ailments should not delay seeing a doctor.”
Doctors unanimously blame contaminateddrinking water for this.Thecluster of casesseemstobecoming from areassuch as Churchgate,Colaba,Nariman Point,Byculla,Kurla andBandra.Latestwater samples tests reveal the presence of E-coli in these areas.Civicofficials,however,claim that no cholera caseshavebeen reportedsofar.
Dean of KEM Hospital, Dr Sanjay Oak, saidtheBMCwaslooking intothe rising incidence of stomach ailments and reasons behind it. “Boiling water adequately is a one-step solution tothe problem.”