- In the summer and rainy seasons of 2015, leptospirosis, a dangerous, neglected tropical disease, struck in multiple cities of India.
- In Mumbai, the toll was high — at least 18 people reportedly succumbed to the zoonotic disease, also known colloquially as “rat fever” for its association with the urine of rodents among several host species.
- Given its position as one of the most congested hubs of urban activity along India’s 8,129-km-long coastline, Mumbai was always particularly vulnerable to the outbreaks of such a disease.
- Typically, Leptospira interrogans spreads under conditions of stagnant water, flood water, humidity, and proximity between man and beast.
- In terms of approach specifics, there is a recognition that leptospirosis is a complex disease with multifactorial transmission, and so efforts should focus on identifying transmission sources, stratify disease risk and prioritise prevention in the resource-poor settings of Indian slums
- pointing out that changes in climatic conditions and population drift from rural to semi-urban and urban areas of India are also contributing to the increase in the magnitude and severity of leptospirosis outbreaks.
Source: The Hindu