Published Date: 2004-10-02 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/EDR> Malaria - India (Mumbai)
Archive Number: 20041002.2716
MALARIA - INDIA (MUMBAI)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sat 2 Oct 2004
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: The Times of India [edited]
Malaria cases soar at city high-rise sites
Unfettered construction activity in the city is leading to a spurt in the
number of malarial cases, say doctors. Numerous cases have been reported in
the last few days, mainly among residents living in and around areas that
are witnessing heavy construction work, they say.
Worse, these are cases of the [_Plasmodium] falciparum_ parasite, which is
more virulent and could be fatal if not detected in time, compared to the
more commonly found _P. vivax_ strain. Even civic officials whom TOI spoke
to admitted that central Mumbai, with its mill lands and cessed
[abandoned?] buildings that are being redeveloped into towers, and Bandra
in the western suburbs are emerging as the malarial hotspots of the city.
The construction work malaria equation is easy to establish: water used to
cure cement at the sites forms puddles that act as the ideal breeding
ground for mosquitoes that carry the malarial parasite. With a 30 percent
rise in the number of building construction proposals this year, one can
imagine the potential health hazard to the city. "This year, there are 2800
construction sites as against the usual 2100 sites," says a BMC official.
A businessman's case lends credence to this unhealthy equation. His office
block in Agripada is surrounded by construction sites, with multi-storied
buildings coming up in the congested locality. The 26-year-old man has been
recuperating at Jaslok Hospital after being diagnosed with falciparum
malaria. His doctor, Altaf Patel, who is attached to Jaslok Hospital as
well as the state government-run JJ group of hospitals, says that he has
treated 5 patients for falciparum malaria in the last few days.
Another of his patients, a 60-year-old, lives in the CP Tank area, another
locality where old buildings are making way for new construction.
[Byline: Malathy Lyer]
[Construction sites are probably not new in Mumbai, but they do provide
excellent breeding grounds for the _Anopheles_ mosquito. Data from 1986 to
1997 show that the _P. falciparum_-positive rate in the district where
Mumbai is located average to 0.5 to 2 positive slides per 1000 population
per year. _P falciparum_ is therefore not unknown to Mumbai. Another
explanation may be migrant workers from other areas of India where _P.
falciparum_ is much more common, like Orissa and Assam. - Mod.EP]