Monsoon maladies

Contamination:A dengue outbreak this season has been a major problem in the city.— File Photo  

Malaria, dengue, gastro-problems, typhoid, viral fevers, sore throat, respiratory tract infections, a slew of fungal and skin infections and a general fall in immunity – health problems related to the monsoon are plenty.

While city hospitals have reported a jump in the number of people suffering from monsoon-related diseases this month, doctors assure that high standards of personal and environment hygiene, and discipline in what one eats and drinks can go a long way in ensuring a relatively disease-free season.

Delhi Medical Association member Anil Bansal said temperature fluctuation, favourable climate for fungus and bacteria growth, very high risk of cross contamination, etc., are contributing factors in the spur of ailments this season.

Sunil Bhasin, paediatrician and child specialist, added: “This season, besides simple infections, fever, and cold and cough, people are also exposed to more serious ailments including Hepatitis A, a mild to moderate liver disorder transmitted through consumption of contaminated food or water. An increase in the incidence of Hepatitis A is observed since there is high probability of water contamination during the monsoon.”

The reasons for the infection include ingesting food or water contaminated by an infected person’s faeces, and direct contact with an infected person. “In a country like ours, sewage-contamination during monsoon is quite common, and hence the spurt in Hepatitis A infection,” Dr. Bhasin said. Meanwhile, a dengue outbreak this season, besides these ailments, has been a major problem in the city. In fact, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J. P. Nadda recently directed the civic bodies and city hospitals to remain on high alert for any outbreak. In a recently-concluded high-level meeting to review preparedness of the government in prevention and control of dengue, the Minister instructed that necessary steps be taken to combat this vector-borne disease.

Mr. Nadda also directed the officers to conduct supervisory visits to various hospitals in Delhi for assessing the situation, preparedness and to provide on-the-spot technical guidance to health authorities. Delhi witnessed a dengue outbreak last year, one of the worst in 20 years, with over 15,867 cases and 60 deaths. This year, the city has already registered nearly 50 cases of dengue. “Mr. Nadda was informed that the number of Sentinel Surveillance Hospitals (SSHs) has been increased to 527 for augmenting diagnostic facilities for dengue. These are linked with 15 apex referral laboratories with advanced diagnostic facilities. ELISA-based IgM test kits are supplied by the government through the National Institute of Virology in Pune. He also reviewed the awareness activities of the Ministry and said there was an urgent need to enhance them for widespread dengue awareness in the country,” added a senior health official.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 8:48:41 AM |

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