Summer heat behind surge in Mumbai gastro cases among children, say doctors | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Summer heat behind surge in Mumbai gastro cases among children, say doctors

Apr 18, 2024 09:18 AM IST

Summer heat exacerbates spread of gastroenteritis in Mumbai, with children under 5 most affected. Doctors stress importance of hygiene and hydration

Mumbai: Hanishka Racharla, 7, an Andheri resident, missed school this week after being diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis over the weekend. The Racharlas were informed by their paediatrician that she is one of many children who have come down with gastroenteritis this summer, and their weekend dinner plan may have been the reason for contracting the infection.

Taking unnecessary antibiotics may kill healthy bacteria but also those vital to gastrointestinal health.(Shutterstock)
Taking unnecessary antibiotics may kill healthy bacteria but also those vital to gastrointestinal health.(Shutterstock)

Paediatricians told HT that the summer heat is exacerbating the spread of gastroenterological diseases, and nearly 20-30 patients are turning up every day at outpatient departments with complaints of diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach ache.

“We are seeing a rise in acute gastroenteritis cases in our OPD this summer. Most patients are below 5 years. Usually symptoms are loose motions, abdominal cramps, vomiting and nausea,” said Dr Rashi Aryan, paediatrician, Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Powai.

He said the most common cause was viral diarrhoea, followed by bacteria. “Luckily, very few come with dehydration and need hospitalisation,” said Dr Aryan.

Dr Tejal Shetty, paediatrician at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vile Parle, said a combination of rising temperatures and bad eating habits contributed to the uptick in cases. “Heat increases the rate at which food spoils, making foodborne illnesses more common. Children may consume outside food that is contaminated. Additionally, children are more likely to be active outdoors during summer, playing in contaminated water bodies or using public restrooms without proper handwashing afterwards, the opportunities for ingesting or coming into contact with infectious agents are higher,” said Dr Shetty.

Dr Indu Khosla, consultant paediatric, NH SRCC Children’s Hospital, Haji Ali, also blamed poor hygiene, contaminated food or water, and viral infections for the surge in reported cases. “Patients are taking at least five days to recover. It is crucial to prioritise hygiene, ensure hands are thoroughly washed and food is properly cooked and stored. Encouraging adequate fluid intake, especially oral rehydration solutions, helps replenish lost electrolytes,” she said. Seeking prompt medical attention is imperative to prevent dehydration and complications, she added.

Doctors emphasised on adequate hydration as deficiency of electrolytes can lead to severe muscle cramps and dehydration. Most cases of low blood pressure and muscle cramps are seen among those who work outdoors such as marketing professionals, they said, recommending the use of oral rehydration salts (ORS).

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crickit, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Infographics & much more. Explore now!

Stay updated with all the Breaking News and Latest News from Mumbai. Click here for comprehensive coverage of top Cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and more across India along with Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On