B'luru may see rise in waterborne diseases after rains

Doctors warn of waterborne, viral diseases during rainy season

Doctors warn of a spurt in waterborne diseases due to stagnant rainwater (like seen in pic). DH FILE/Janardhan B K

The recent spell of heavy rain and flooding in the city could unleash a series of diseases, doctors have warned, asking residents to observe precautions.

Besides destroying properties and snapping powerlines, urban floods contaminate drinking water and spread waterborne diseases, while food contamination also contributes to diseases.

“Don’t allow water to stagnate around houses,” warned Dr Sheela Chakravarthy, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital.

“Use mosquito nets or repellents for protection. Keep your provisions and vegetables in sufficient quantities to beat the short supply.”

Dr Sunil Havannavar, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, pointed to the risk of contracting wound infections, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, and ear, nose, and throat infections through polluted waters.

“The rate at which the virus spreads will be quite high because of all the panic and people going to crowded places during this rainy season,” said Dr Vidya Bhat, Medical Director, Radhakrishna Hospital, asking people to discard food items safely and wash clothes regularly with disinfectants.

Dr Vidhya also urged people to ensure water is brought from a safe source.

Dengue- and malaria-causing mosquitos, besides waterborne infections, are two main health concerns for people in waterlogged areas, said Dr S N Aravinda, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Aster R V Hospital.

Bike riders in flooded areas need to be more careful as they encounter dirty water.

“Contamination can cause diarrhea, jaundice, and gastroenteritis, among others. Ensure that the water is boiled or heated properly before use,” Dr Aravinda said.

People might experience flu-like symptoms due to a dip in temperature during the rainy season besides increased asthma or sinus issues.

These could be controlled with medication and by boosting immunity.

Dr Satyanarayana Mysore, Consultant, Pulmonology, Manipal Hospitals, said: “Flooding, to an extent, can worsen the Covid situation. Waterborne and vector-borne diseases will increase. These will include typhoid, cholera, leptospirosis, hepatitis A, malaria, and dengue, among others.”

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‘No need for concern’

BBMP health officer, South Zone, Dr Shivakumar M said sufficient precautions have been taken. “Basically, water should be drained, while bleaching powder and sodium hypochlorite should be sprayed (to avert infections),” he said.

Using disinfectants like chlorine should be adequate to prevent infections, while authorities have already educated people on drinking hot water, Dr Shivakumar said.

Drinking water in Hoskerehalli/Dattatreya Nagar is mostly supplied by pipe without breach. “So far, there’s no problem in accessing (water) and no contamination has been reported,” the health officer said.

“If water is stagnant for more than a day or two and people walk on that, there’s a risk. But if it drains in a few hours, there is no question of contracting leptospirosis. Medical officers and health inspectors are at work, along with fogging,” Dr Shivakumar added.