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Last Updated : Jul 10, 2019 07:07 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Leptospirosis cases in Mumbai: What is the disease and what are the preventive measures?

Mumbai has recorded the highest number of cases, with 218 of the 309 cases recorded in 2018 coming from the Maximum City, the report states.

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With the onset of monsoons in Mumbai, five cases of leptospirosis have been recorded in June, according to a report by DNA.

Leptospirosis commonly occurs in monsoon, and, according to an Indian Express report, over 72 people have died and 1,527 have been affected in Maharashtra due to the disease in the past five years.

Mumbai has recorded the highest number of cases, with 218 of the 309 cases recorded in 2018 coming from the Maximum City, the report states.

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What is leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that occurs mainly due to the exposure of an unhealed wound to rat or cattle urine in contaminated waters. It is also called "rat fever".

According to the National Health Portal of India, leptospirosis is one of the world's most widespread diseases transmitted by animals to humans.

While in most cases, leptospirosis causes flu-like symptoms, like chills, headache and muscle pain, more severe cases can turn life-threatening and can cause organ failure, jaundice and haemorrhage. A severe form of leptospirosis is called Weil's disease.

According to reports, after floods ravaged through Kerala, leptospirosis had become a major public health challenge.

What are the symptoms of leptospirosis? 

For mild leptospirosis, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, conjunctivitis and cough are some of the common symptoms. However, more severe cases of leptospirosis can have symptoms such as meningitis, respiratory ailment, extreme fatigue and even hearing loss.

What are some of the preventive measures to be followed?

During adverse situations like flooding, according to experts, proper sanitation in a city is vital.

Apart from that, the NHP states that on a personal level, covering skin lesions with waterproof dressings, washing or showering after exposure to urine splashes or contaminated soil or water, avoiding touching the skin of dead animals or assisting animals in giving birth also help.

In case one cannot avoid going into waded waters, reports suggest that a 100 mg dose of doxycycline three hours before going into water is recommended.

A state surveillance officer told Indian Express that inter-departmental coordination mechanism has also been set up in Maharashtra for rat control. Moreover, the health department has also ensured that stock of drugs needed to treat leptospirosis have been stored, and rapid diagnostic test kits have been provided to district and rural hospitals across the state.

According to reports, in 2014-15, 179 cases were recorded while seven people had died across Maharashtra. In 2016, 367 were people infected and 13 had died. In 2017, the cases increased to 398 while 18 had scummed to the disease.
First Published on Jul 10, 2019 07:07 pm
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