Cases of gastroenteritis, diarrhea and food poisoning have increased by up to 40 percents at public hospitals in Lahore over the past week.
A doctor at the Mayo Hospital Emergency said, “An average 20 to 35 patients suffering from food poisoning and diarrhea being treated at the emergency since the monsoons started.”
He said most patients admitted have consumed oily or fried food.
On Tuesday, 11 children from a family were admitted to Children’s Hospital with suspected food poisoning. Further tests to diagnose the cause were being conducted while doctors declared the children stable and out of danger.
A doctor attending them told The Express Tribune, “It appears they ate sometime that caused severe food poisoning.
The administration of the Lahore General Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, Services Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said that the number of patients suffering with gastroenteritis had increased by 40 per cent.
Institute of Public Health (IPH) Community Medicine Assistant Professor Dr Shahid Shaukat Malik said the rotavirus, which causes diarrhea, was common amongst children while adults were contracting diarrhea and food poisoning.
“The increase in humidity creates conditions optimum for the growth of bacteria. The time in which food decays decreases and food produces more toxins than usual. Unfresh food causes food poisoning or dehydration,” he said.
Dr Masood Shaikh, chairman of the Pakistan Medical Society, said, “Water is often polluted during monsoons due to leaking sewerage pipes. Those who use filtered water should get their equipment checked regularly or used boiled water.”
“Oily food creates acidity and can cause severe food poisoning and gastroenteritis,” he added. He said cases of hepatitis were also common due to impure water.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2012.