Patients at the medicine ward of RIMS, Ranchi, on Sunday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
A maverick monsoon is giving Ranchi the shivers.
Seasonal cough and cold are predators of the past, the capital is in the vicious grip of jaundice, typhoid, diarrhoea, malaria and dengue.
A senior doctor at state-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) said the last week alone had seen some two dozen cases of jaundice and typhoid.
“Viral fever, running nose or sore throat are normal during monsoon. But so many cases of jaundice and typhoid is alarming,” he said, requesting anonymity.
Doctors said infrequent rainfall this rainy season had caused frequent fluctuations in temperatures and humidity levels, resulting in the spurt in diseases.
RIMS medical superintendent S.K. Choudhary explained that a person’s immunity took time to adjust to changing weather, giving viruses and bacteria a free run.
On any normal day, the government hospital’s OPD sees 1,000-1,100 patients. RIMS officials conceded that the numbers were only shooting up this monsoon.
Even pathological labs in the capital are swamped with blood test requests for jaundice, typhoid and diarrhoea, besides malaria.
“At least 10-12 people have tested positive for jaundice in the last four-five days at our clinic. There are as many cases of typhoid. Dengue too is on the prowl,” said Vineeta Sharan, the owner of Dr J. Sharan Pathology Laboratory in Bariatu.
Sharan said most of the diseases were water-borne. “It indicates unhygienic surroundings and consumption of contaminated food and water. It is advisable to wash vegetables in lukewarm water to avoid infections,” she added.
Dr Kashi P. Daruka of Seva Sadan reiterated that high humidity level was a bane.
“If rainfall is continuous and heavy, the atmosphere is naturally cleansed. Cloudy sky and sporadic showers block sunlight, helping bacteria to breed faster,” he explained.
Daruka said he, normally, visited five to six viral patients during monsoon, but the number had increased three-fold.
“The symptoms range from fever, headache, joint pain, weakness, blocked nose etc. The best way to tackle diseases this season is to maintain personal hygiene and keep surroundings dry,” he added.
Taking adequate rest and drinking only boiled water is the key to good health, said Dr Sameer Kaushik.
“In seasons like this, you tend to have surprise fever, especially during the night. You may be normal today, but have temperature tomorrow morning. The only way to beat the odds is to have food rich in iron and vitamins that help in increasing body immunity,” he advised.