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Extreme weather changes send Mumbaikars to doctors

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 - 7:35am IST | Agency: dna

The weather in Mumbai is once again playing havoc with people's health. City doctors have been getting an increasing number of patients, courtesy extreme variations in temperature.

The daytime temperature has been lingering at an uncomfortable 35 degrees Celsius since a fortnight. The high humidity levels are not helping either, with Colaba recording 95% and Santa Cruz 77% on Tuesday.

Doctors are seeing at least 50-60 patients every week in their outpatient departments at private hospitals with upper respiratory tract infections, viral pneumonia, gastroenteritis, eye infections, headaches, migraine and skin infection outbreaks.

A 65-year-old man has been admitted to PD Hinduja Hospital in Mahim with a severe case of kidney failure. He contracted acute gastroenteritis and suffered from up to 40 cycles of loose motions every day.

"The severe infection and dehydration has led to kidney failure. We are trying to reverse the condition by hydrating him with fluids," said Dr Khusrav Bajan, consulting physician, PD Hinduja Hospital. "We are seeing at least 10 patients of gastroenteritis a week."

Dr Om Srivastava, director, infectious diseases, at Jaslok Hospital, said, "Extreme heat and lack of hydration has taken its toll. Viruses are not known to survive in such extreme heat, but the heat is leading more and more people to spend time indoors. Overcrowding in air-conditioned malls and restaurants in leading to the spread of infection from one person to another."

Another trend that doctors find alarming is increasing drug resistance to the commonest of infections. "People who have never been admitted before are showing up with community-acquired pneumonia, which is resistant to base line antibiotics. The trend has been on a rise for the past three years at least," Bajan said.

Srivastava said, "Infections of urine, blood, gut, lungs and sputum are only getting worse in terms of drug resistance. Escherichia Coli affects the gut, and Acinetobacter affects lungs, urine, blood and brain. We see at least 10 patients a week having multi-drug resistant infections. Nearly 40% of these require hospitalisation."

Take care
Drink six to eight glasses of water every day
Carry lime water or glucose in a bottle when stepping out
Use a cap to cover your head in the sun
Take a shower twice a day at least to prevent skin rashes and infection spurts

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