UAE hospitals witnessed a surge in waterborne diseases spread by mosquitoes

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

Hospitals and clinics in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are grappling with a surge in waterborne diseases following unprecedented rainfall that has inundated several neighborhoods.

Among the most prevalent ailments are typhoid, dengue fever, respiratory infections, and skin infections resulting from prolonged exposure to water and damp environments.

Dr. Manoj Sharma, a general practitioner specializing in emergencies at Aster Hospital in Al Qusais, has observed a notable 20 percent uptick in cases of fever, cold, and cough in recent days. Children, due to their susceptibility to respiratory illnesses and weaker immune systems, constitute the majority of patients affected, though adults are also falling ill. Aster Clinics in Dubai and Sharjah have similarly noted a roughly 20 percent rise in cases of fever, cold, and cough.

Dr. Sayed, the group medical director at Aster and Access Clinics in the UAE, highlights that common rain-related illnesses encompass flu-like symptoms, viral fever, gastrointestinal infections, and skin infections. Respiratory issues such as coughing, fatigue, aches, and fever are prevalent complaints.

At NMC Specialty Hospital in Al Ain, the average daily influx of patients visiting general physicians has surged to 40, up from 25 to 30 before the onset of the storms. Dr. Mujeeb Quadeer, a general practitioner at the hospital, notes an increase in both new diagnoses and exacerbations of chronic conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Dr. Sayed anticipates a rise in mosquito-borne illnesses and skin conditions due to stagnant water, emphasizing the importance of preventive measures such as mosquito repellents and bed nets, as well as avoiding waterlogged areas.

Dr. Doaa Zaki, a general practitioner at Medcare Medical Center, stresses the need to eliminate mosquitoes indoors to prevent skin infections, recommending anti-allergic creams and cold compression for bites.

Respiratory infections have seen a significant uptick, according to Dr. Srinivasa Rao Polumuru of NMC Specialty Hospital in Al Nahda, Dubai. He reports a notable increase in both adult and pediatric admissions for pneumonia and flu-like symptoms.

The heightened demand for medications has led to shortages, but efforts are underway to manage the situation. Health practitioners are prioritizing essential medications and recommending suitable alternatives if specific brands are unavailable.

As the weather remains unpredictable, doctors advise the community to employ home remedies for mild symptoms and reserve hospital visits for serious health concerns. Hydration, nutritious food, and simple remedies like gargling with salt water or consuming ginger tea with lemon and honey can provide relief from common ailments. However, individuals experiencing high fever, fatigue, or vomiting should seek medical attention promptly.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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