Pune: Fungal Infections have become common all around the city, thanks to the scorching heat. The most prevalent are those affecting the stomach and digestion system, caused by food and water borne germs, which multiply in summer. Doctors from around the city are seeing an increasing in food-related infections with symptoms including nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, with some doctors getting as many as 8-10 fresh cases in a year.
"Every third patient I tend to, is either suffering from vomiting or diarrhea. The main reasons for this is eating outside, where food is not properly cooked or is in unhygienic conditions, which subsequent leads to bacterial activity in food," said S Z Anwar, a family physician based in Koregaon Park. He added that in summer as food gets stale soon, people must take care when eating in the open and roadside food stalls.
Family physician Dr Hillary Rodrigues has seen a spike in cases of stomach infections among students from the Camp area which boasts of young crowd from other cities, who either eat in a mess or somewhere out where. "I have 10-15 patients a week complaining of stomach pain, nausea, loose motions and other related infections, generally due to eating food that has gone bad. In comparison to the previous years, this year I am seeing more number of cases and most affected patients at my clinic are from age group of patients of 15 to 30 years," Rodrigues added.
Summer season also witnesses a lot of festivals, weddings and engagement parties. The food does look irresistible, but it is not always suitable to your digestive system. "There are many families who fall ill and have similar infections at the same time. This is because of eating at weddings and marriages. Also people like to have iced-beverages in the heat and generally places that serve such drinks, the source of water used for preparation isn't very reliable. Since last week, I also see multiple patients from same family coming for treatment. And though we did see cases even last year, but the numbers are definitely higher this time," opined Vivek Billampelly from Kondhwa.
Dehydration and diarrhea affect kids the most, especially those below 7 years of age. There were a few serious cases involving kids in some areas of Karve Road and Kothrud due to dehydration. Mahesh Wayal, a general physician from the area said "During summers, families go out for vacations and travel a lot. The change in place results in change in water quality, which causes stomach infection in kids under the age of 7. I have a minimum of 4-5 kids daily who suffer from these infections."
The main precautions that should be taken by parents includes boiling drinking water, using packaged drinking water when traveling and eating at hygienic places.
Keep these in mind:
- Carry boiled drinking water from home or buy packaged water as far as possible.
- Avoid uncovered street food or that prepared a few hours in advance.
- Go for foods that are prepared fresh and served hot.
- Rehydrate yourself and drink a lot of fluids.
- Maintain basic hygiene, especially with kids.