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Sally Furniss
June 23rd, 2008, 11:22 AM
Thanks to Shiloh - copied from H5N1Experts.org


Mumbai: Monsoon illness claims 1 more life <hr style="color: rgb(209, 209, 225);" size="1"> <!-- / icon and title --> <!-- message --> Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/M...ow/3154975.cms (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Monsoon_illness_claims_1_more_life/articleshow/3154975.cms)

Monsoon illness claims 1 more life
23 Jun 2008, 0450 hrs IST,TNN

MUMBAI: The rush of patients with fever has begun to worry health officials, with one more person succumbing to febrile illness with acute respiratory distress syndrome on Sunday, taking the toll of monsoon-related illnesses to 10 in June.

The 25-year-old victim was admitted to KEM Hospital on June 21 with fever and respiratory problems. "Doctors clinically suspected leptospirosis, though initial tests showed negative for leptospirosis, malaria and dengue," said Dr N Kewalramani chief of BMC's epidemiology cell. "We will be testing his blood samples with a high-tech PCR test to check if it was indeed leptospirosis," she said.

Another 137 Mumbaikars were hospitalised with fever. "People shouldn't ignore any fever or self-medicate," said civic officials.In the 24-hour period ending Sunday morning, 20 persons were hospitalised with malaria and two with dengue. Meanwhile, a study released by TIFR stated that men in the age group of 15-40 were more susceptible to malaria as compared to women and children.

Cholera cases cause for worry
Civic records show that 42 Mumbaikars were hospitalised with gastroenteritis in the last 24 hours. Health officials deny the presence of cholera in the city.

However, TOI checked BMC records and found that 11 gastroenteritis patients were hurriedly shifted from various hospitals to Kasturba Hospital throughout June.

Ask doctors why gastroenteritis patients would be shifted from super-speciality hospitals such as Sion, JJ or KEM Hospital to Kasturba and pat comes the reply. "If the hanging drop test on a patient's stool samples shows the cholera bacteria, we don't take any chances. Cholera is communicable and we shift patients to Kasturba to prevent putting others at risk," said a civic doctor requesting anonymity. Cholera manifests as acute diarrhoea and vomiting. It could prove fatal if left unattended.

Kasturba Hospital's superintendent Umesh Aigal disagrees. "Sometimes other hospitals transfer patients because they are complicated cases," he said. But, civic doctors said they were better-equipped to handle complicated cases themselves. "Only cholera cases are transferred," said a doctor.

"After the patient was recently shifted from JJ Hospital, we surveyed the area around his residence but only a few people, had stomach upsets which was no reason to worry," said Dr Kewalramani, adding that subsequent cholera tests in Kasturba were negative.