India doctor dharavi coronavirus
Illustrative image. Image Credit: Reuters

Mumbai: As top celebrities and entrepreneurs in India’s financial capital shared their latest health scare on social media —a mysterious and severe stomach infection, heath experts on Friday confirmed that there is a surge in instances of abdominal pain caused by infections, resulting in cases of diarrhoea or dysentery, in Mumbai.

First, film-maker Hansal Mehta, suffering from a terrible stomach infection, pointed fingers at the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the government for not providing safe drinking water to the citizens.

Later, Snapdeal Co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl joined him, saying: “I got the same severe infection last week after a trip to Mumbai and have been reeling under it”.

“It doesn’t seem to be getting fixed even after a full course of antibiotics. Probably the worst stomach infection I have ever gotten in my life,” Bahl said in a tweet.

Mehta, in his earlier tweet, also mentioned that he received a message from script-writer Karan Vyas that “he too is sick with a similar infection” and “so are people in his society”.

Dr Pavan Dhoble, Junior Consultant-Gastroenterology at P.D. Hinduja Hospital and MRC in Mahim told IANS that stomach flu, medically known as acute infectious gastroenteritis, is most commonly caused by viruses like norovirus and rotavirus.

“It is very common during monsoons because of poor personal hygiene, like lack of hand washing, and eating contaminated food and water. The symptoms mostly include diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and fever and sometimes severe abdominal cramps,” Dhoble noted.

Dr Rohini Nagarkar, senior consultant, paediatrics and academic head, Surya Mother and Child Super Speciality Hospital in Pune said that of late, they have been witnessing a surge in instances of abdominal pain caused by infections.

“This can be attributed to the consumption of contaminated and untreated water. Heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding have led to the contamination of drinking water, increasing the likelihood of contaminants or bacteria seeping into our water supply,” she added.

In fact, Mehta’s tweet sparked a massive debate on the water quality and other issues of not only Mumbai, but also Delhi with many supporting his grouse and some gently advising him to keep cool but ‘boil water’ before drinking.

Mehta is noted for films and web series like “Shahid”, “Aligarh”, “Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story”, “Scoop” etc.

According to doctors, to protect from these infections, it is important to use boiled, purified water for cooking and drinking purposes.

“Additionally, it is advisable to refrain from consuming food from outside, including raw and processed items. Regularly washing hands with soap before and after meals is also crucial for prevention,” said Nagarkar.

Symptoms generally subside by 2-3 days, but if the symptoms are not subsiding within 3 days, one should contact a doctor immediately, they advised.