Mumbai records hottest October day in 10 years

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 25 Oktober 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The city's scorching heat hit a new high on Thursday with maximum temperatures touching 37.2 degree Celsius. The Santa Cruz observatory recorded the highest maximum temperature in the past 10 years. The all-time record so far has been 37.9 degree Celsius, recorded way back in October 1972.

The heat is responsible for dragging a lot of people to the sick bay this festive season. From fever, dengue and malaria to skin allergies, Mumbaikars are waiting for respite from the heat that is unlikely to ease any time soon. "October itself is known for such high temperature patterns," said a weather official.

People feel even more uncomfortable because they have just got out of the pleasant monsoon weather with maximum temperatures of around 30-31 degree Celsius," said a weather official. Humidity levels in Santa Cruz dropped below 60%, which caused the heat to intensify. Colaba registered 70% humidity.

In the past 10 years, the highest maximum temperature recorded for October has been 37 degree Celsius in 2008. This month, temperatures touched 37 degree Celsius twice on October 16 and October 22.

Hospital OPDs are flooded with cases of fever and prolonged cold and cough. "Viral fever is rampant. We are treating up to 15 to 20 cases everyday," said a resident doctor from KEM Hospital in Parel, who has been working at the special monsoon outpatient department. While dengue and malaria are at the root of 50% of fever cases, the rest are flu-like ailments, the doctor said.

Experts caution that while gulping a glass of cold drink or water or switching on the air-conditioner may provide momentary relief, it could trigger an infection waiting to overpower the body's immunity. "The temperature is such that people are sitting under the AC the entire day. The body, therefore, does not get any time to acclimatize when you step out in the sun," said Girgaum-based physician Dr Krishnakant Dhebri.

Adding to Mumbaikars' woes is the fluctuating humidity that swings from 55% to 99% within a span of a few hours. "This causes a lot of sweating that, in turn, can lead to unprecedented loss of electrolytes from the body if not replenished from time to time," added Dhebri. Dehydration induced by unusual sweating can also lead to muscle cramps, nausea and even blackouts.

The doctor from KEM Hospital also said how one could also be dehydrated even without stepping out in the sun. "Heat exhaustion is very common and the only solution is to keep the body well hydrated," said Dr Falguni Parikh from Kokilaben Hospital.

Skin and sun allergy cases, too, have seen a rise in the past one month, say city doctors. Dhebri said a lot of the health problems could also be related to a person's immunity. "It is important to eat, drink and sleep right," he added.

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