As many as 2,441 gastroenteritis cases have been reported in Mumbai since January this year, with 78 cases in the first few days this month alone, as per a BMC health department report. In 2020, the city witnessed 2,549 gastroenteritis cases and 3,110 in 2021. Officials said cases are fewer as compared to the numbers in pre-Covid days. However, the numbers are more than what was reported in the last two years.
Executive health officer Dr. Mangla Gomare said the BMC is conducting water surveillance for possible contamination. “We will be testing samples from ice factories, and are keeping a close watch if there is any trend in gastroenteritis cases from any part of the city. The BMC feels that people have become complacent in hand washing. Hand hygiene can keep many diseases away,” she said.
Meanwhile, private hospitals are also witnessing a rise in gastro cases as people are more liberal about eating out than in the earlier coronavirus waves. “As part of the surge in gastro cases, patients have been complaining of persistent vomiting, dysentery, severe abdominal cramps and severe weakness,” said a senior infectious disease expert.
He said, in a few cases, patients also reported fever. The expert said, “Most people get dehydrated on day one itself and that’s the reason few of them require to be admitted. Most of these cases are viral gastroenteritis and settle down within two to three days.” He said, weakness however persists for a few days.
Confirming that acute gastroenteritis is on the rise, Dr Shakar Zanwar, a gastroenterologist from Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, said that cases in people under 20 years are on a rise. He said, “Apart from diarrhoea, some are experiencing vomiting and abdominal pain. The most probable cause could be contaminated water.”
Dr Kishore Sathe said, “People are intermingling after extended Covid restrictions. They are eating at public places and probably that has led to the rise.”
How to avoid gastro infection
- Avoid water from unhygienic places
- Use ORS or simple salt and sugar water in case of diarrhoea
- Consult a doctor in case of repeated episodes
- Infection does not need many antibiotics
- Use boiled or filtered water at home or carry it while travelling
Dr Shakar Zanwar
Consultant – Gastroenterologist
Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central
To book an appointment call: +918291101001