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Epidemic Fear In Mumbai Mounting Post-Floods

The death toll in Mumbai following the water borne diseases crossed 55 even as the government played down fears of an epidemic. Most of the 55 dead were from the densely populated city suburbs that were worst affected by // last month's floods.

Over 1,000 patients had been admitted to various Mumbai hospitals with complications arising from leptospirosis, dengue, typhoid and hepatitis. All government hospitals in this city of over 15 million people had been put on alert to give priority to cases of fever.

The outbreak of diseases has badly affected middle class areas like the northern suburbs of Bandra, Andheri, Santa Cruz, Virar, Kurla, Thane and Kalyan - all of them thickly populated. Most of these areas had come under five to 15 feet of water following torrential rains that pounded the city last month, killing at least 450 people.

Civic authorities said they had launched major initiatives to tackle the threat of an epidemic and to provide immediate medical care to those who had been affected by waterborne diseases. Medical teams and medicines have been sent to all areas that are badly affected by the diseases. The government has launched a massive clean-up drive and all affected areas that are also being intensively fumigated. The people are advised not to ignore any symptom that may turn out to be fatal.

Hearing public interest litigation filed by Mumbai film industry representatives, the court said the government should be prepared with sufficient medical supplies and doctors in case an epidemic broke out.


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