Summer hurts as Typhoid cases double this year

Chicken pox, typhoid and acute diarrhoeal diseases show an alarming rise from last year’s; water contamination blamed

Published: 10th May 2016 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2016 07:23 AM   |  A+A-


CHENNAI: Mercury is shooting up in the city; so is the number of cases of typhoid, chicken pox and acute diarrhoeal diseases (ADD).

According to public health officials, typhoid cases and ADD have increased this year when compared to last year. The spike is expected to peak in the coming days to coincide with the rise in temperature.

“Typhoid cases have doubled this year. There were 86 typhoid cases reported as opposed to  46 cases reported in April last year. At any point of given time, the Hospital for Communicable Diseases at Tondiarpet in North Chennai has at least five typhoid cases; majority of them reported from Tondiarpet and Royapuram zones,” an official source, from Greater Chennai Corporation told Express.

There were 127 ADD cases reported as opposed to 101 cases in April last year. A large number of chicken pox cases have also been reported although the numbers are less than the previous year  - 209 cases reported as opposed to 286 last year during the same month.

“There are chances of and increase in the number of cases in the coming days. The peak is yet to reach,” said Dr C Rajendran, senior general physician at Billroth Hospital.

According to the State Health and Family Welfare Department website report, acute diarrhoeal disease (ADD), has been rising every month in the State - 12,469 cases were reported in January and 12,703 cases in February, and 16,215 cases in March.

“Water contamination is the main culprit in many of these cases. Public health officials should monitor water chlorination and also the functioning of roadside eateries during this season,” said Dr P

Kuganantham, former chief health officer of Greater Chennai Corporation. Many of these diseases also spread in the air faster due to the dry climate.

“It is better to avoid eating from roadside eateries to prevent diarrhoeal diseases,” added Kuganantham, a consultant on Public Health and Preventive Medicine at a leading private hospital in the city.

Chicken Pox:

Caused by varicella zoster virus

Symptoms:  aching muscles, malaise and skin eruption

Contagious by direct contact, spread by droplet or by air borne particles


Vaccine may be given to the children aged 12 to 18 months and for the children up to 12 years who have not had varicella


Typhoid Fever:

Caused by bacteria salmonella typhi transmitted by contaminated food and water

Symptoms: fever, severe headache, tiredness, splenomegaly (enlargement of the spleen), slowing of heart beat (Bradycardia)


Proper hand washing, drinking of chlorinated, boiled water and vaccination


Acute Diarrhoeal Disease

Caused by bacteria contaminated water

Symptoms: Fever, dehydration and diarrhoea

Oral rehydration salts intake


Drink boiled, chlorinated water and avoid eating from roadside vendors

Probiotics is a safe intervention in acute infectious diarrhoea to reduce duration and severity of the illness


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