With the onset of hot and humid weather in this region of the country, the incidence of gastroenteritis has started getting on the rise and according to health experts, the situation may get worse in the coming days if proper preventive measures are not taken well in time particularly by individuals.
Data collected by 'The News' has revealed that Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences received well over 15800 patients with gastroenteritis during the holy month of Ramazan. 65 per cent of the total cases of gastroenteritis reported at PIMS were with the complaints of dehydration.
Among the patients suffering from gastroenteritis, 52 per cent were males and 48 percent females, said Deputy Director at PIMS Dr. Waseem Ahmed Khawaja while talking to 'The News'.
He said as many as 4,768 patients suffering from gastroenteritis were reported in children emergency. 52 percent of the child patients reported with gastroenteritis in PIMS emergency were with severe dehydration and the hospital had to administer intravenous fluids to these patients, he said.
To a query, he said nearly 8,000 patients reported in gastroenterology department of PIMS were with indigestion symptoms due to unhygienic and excessive diet mostly taken from outside home.
He said it is observed that the number of patients of gastroenteritis has been on the rise for last one month mainly because of ignorance among public and careless attitude towards hygiene.
Generally, gastroenteritis is water and food borne bacterial infections whose main symptoms include vomiting, fever, severe diarrhoea with dehydration and lowering of blood pressure. Contaminated food and unsafe drinking water cause a sharp increase in number of patients with diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, gastro, typhoid and hepatitis A&E particularly in summer.
Dr. Khawaja said it has also been observed that not less than 90 per cent of the reported patients of gastroenteritis had been using water for drinking without boiling or chlorination.
People must be aware of the fact that they should consume boiled or chlorinated water for drinking at least throughout monsoon season and in hot and humid weather conditions, he added.
It is important that hot and humid weather conditions help bacteria growing rapidly and impurities and germs in non boiled or non-chlorinated water may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, typhoid, paratyphoid and hepatitis A and E, he said.
Dr. Khawaja said the most important thing at the time to avoid massive outbreak of gastroenteritis in the region is to educate public about importance of preventive measures.