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Rising Cases of Leptospirosis and Chikungunya in Mumbai: Symptoms and Precautions

Leptospirosis-and-Chikungunya-in-Mumbai

In the first 16 days of July, Mumbai has witnessed a concerning surge in the number of cases of leptospirosis and chikungunya, surpassing the total reported in the previous month of June. According to a report compiled by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the city reported 104 cases of leptospirosis and 10 cases of chikungunya, compared to 97 cases of leptospirosis and 8 cases of chikungunya detected in June.

The report further revealed an alarming prevalence of other monsoon-related diseases in Mumbai. The highest number of cases, 932, were related to gastroenteritis (gastro), followed by 355 cases of malaria, 264 cases of dengue, 76 cases of hepatitis, 52 cases of H1N1 (swine flu), and 10 cases of chikungunya, all recorded till July 16.

The Impact of Excess Rainfall

The significant rise in cases during July can be attributed to the increase in the number of reporting units, as reported by the BMC. However, the Union health ministry in India has raised concerns about the potential outbreak of vector-borne diseases due to the excessive rainfall in North India. The continuous downpour has created favorable conditions for the breeding of disease-carrying mosquitoes, posing a serious threat to public health.

Leptospirosis: Symptoms and Precautions

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection commonly transmitted to humans through contact with contaminated water or soil, usually from the urine of infected animals. The symptoms of leptospirosis may vary from mild to severe, and in some cases, the infection can be life-threatening.

Symptoms:

  1. High fever
  2. Headache
  3. Muscle aches
  4. Chills
  5. Red eyes
  6. Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
  7. Abdominal pain
  8. Diarrhea
  9. Rash

Precautions:

  1. Avoid contact with stagnant water, especially during heavy rains.
  2. Wear protective clothing, such as boots and gloves, when in contact with floodwaters or potentially contaminated areas.
  3. Maintain proper hygiene by washing hands frequently, especially before eating or touching the face.
  4. If you experience any symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Chikungunya: Symptoms and Precautions

Chikungunya is a viral infection transmitted to humans primarily through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The disease is characterized by severe joint pain, fever, and rash.

Symptoms:

  1. Sudden high fever
  2. Severe joint pain, often in hands and feet
  3. Headache
  4. Muscle pain
  5. Fatigue
  6. Nausea
  7. Rash

Precautions:

  1. Use mosquito repellents and wear long-sleeved clothing to minimize exposure to mosquito bites.
  2. Remove stagnant water and potential breeding sites for mosquitoes around your home.
  3. Seek medical attention if you suspect you have contracted chikungunya, especially if you experience symptoms.

Government Initiatives

Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the Union health ministry in India is actively issuing advisories to states and Union Territories, urging them to work closely with civic agencies and take immediate action to mitigate the risk of disease outbreaks. Authorities are advised to focus on mosquito control measures and public awareness campaigns to educate people about preventive measures.

Conclusion

The surge in cases of leptospirosis and chikungunya in Mumbai during July calls for immediate attention from both the government and citizens. By taking necessary precautions and following proper hygiene practices, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of contracting these diseases. It is crucial to stay vigilant and cooperate with health authorities to combat the spread of vector-borne diseases.


FAQs

  1. Are leptospirosis and chikungunya contagious? Both leptospirosis and chikungunya are not directly contagious from person to person. They are transmitted through the bites of infected vectors.
  2. What is the incubation period for these diseases? The incubation period for leptospirosis is around 5 to 14 days, while for chikungunya, it ranges from 2 to 12 days.
  3. Can children be more vulnerable to these diseases? Yes, children, elderly individuals, and those with compromised immune systems are generally more susceptible to severe forms of these infections.
  4. Are there any vaccines available for leptospirosis and chikungunya? Currently, there is no commercially available vaccine for chikungunya. However, some vaccines for leptospirosis are used in certain high-risk groups, like veterinarians and military personnel.
  5. Can these diseases be treated? Yes, both leptospirosis and chikungunya can be treated with appropriate medical care and supportive therapy. Early detection and treatment are essential to prevent complications.

 

 

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