‘There are chances of an outbreak of plague and leptospirosis’
If the garbage clearance and disposal crisis is not resolved soon, the city could soon turn into an epidemic zone. Doctors say garbage accumulation and the resultant bacterial growth and stench could lead to people developing several infections.
There is also a likelihood of an outbreak of plague as more garbage means an increase in rodent population. Thursday night’s downpour that created a garbage slush of tonnes of garbage on the city’s roads has only added to the problem. Unexpected rat deaths should be reported to health authorities without any delay as it can be an indication of plague, doctors said.
H. Paramesh, president of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA), said the rotting garbage dumps will definitely lead to increase in rat population. “There are all chances of an outbreak of plague and leptospirosis in such a situation,” Dr. Paramesh warned.
Citing the example of Surat’s plague outbreak, Dr. Paramesh said: “If something like that happens, it will be disastrous. It is for people to become civic conscious and not just blame the government and the BBMP.”
K.R. Ravindra, Associate Professor at Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI), said the disease can be transmitted from humans to others by direct contact or by touching or breathing droplets that contain the bacterium, Yersinia pestis.
Apart from this, doctors also warn people that the piled up garbage can also be a source of airborne and waterborne infections. There are chances of a rise in the number of dengue and malaria cases, apart from typhoid, jaundice, gastroenteritis and even A (H1N1), they said.
S. Rajanna, Resident Medical Officer of Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, said: “Uncleared garbage coupled with rain can result in groundwater contamination.”
All the doctors said people should maintain cleanliness in their surroundings and take precautions to stay safe from mosquito and rat bites. Wading in rainwater barefoot should be avoided and rodent control measures should be taken on a priority. They also advised people to eat freshly cooked food and drink boiled water.