Chennai floods: Skin infections, fevers, diarrhoea on the rise

December 08, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 24, 2016 02:31 pm IST - CHENNAI:

People from flood-affected areas at a medical camp—Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

People from flood-affected areas at a medical camp—Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

As the waters begin to recede and the sun peeks out, doctors in the city are starting to see a huge number of skin infections, fevers and diarrhoea cases.

At hospitals across the city, fungal and bacterial skin infections, allergies, viral diseases and loose stools are filling up outpatient sections.

“We’ve seen a drastic increase in these cases. Most are allergies and viral infections caused by contaminated water. Boil-like lesions, abscesses on the head and fungal infections are also coming in, along with the usual number of dengue cases,” Padma Appaji, consultant paediatrician, Vijaya Group of Hospitals. She added that the hospital saw at least 25 cases of loose stools every day.

Medical college hospitals that have been conducting mobile health camps across the city from Sunday, are also seeing a lot of skin ailments. “Most of the patients have sores on their feet from having waded through water. We are seeing a lot of colds, coughs, fevers, vomiting and diarrhoea,” said T. Ravindran, professor of medicine, Government Kilpauk Hospital, which, along with Government Royapettah Hospital, is conducting 40 camps a day.

Respiratory infections too are doing the rounds, said doctors at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, which held 40 camps and saw over 6,000 people on Sunday, primarily in the southern suburbs.

Fever camps in these hospitals too were seeing between 80 and 150 patients a day, doctors said.

“Apart from the infections, there are also injuries — from sharp objects in the water that people cannot see. There is also a lot of concern about leptospirosis and other waterborne diseases, though as of now, we have not seen any cases. With the fevers, we will only know some days from now — some could be typhoid or other infections too,” said Subramanian Swaminathan, an infectious diseases specialist. Doctors have said residents must take precautions – apart from boiling drinking water, they should filter and chlorinate all other water before use too.

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