The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said Wednesday that people who came in contact with floodwater should take a preventive medicine,
available at civic dispensaries, to avoid leptospirosis.
Water-logging was reported in several areas over the last two days as the city reeled under its highest rainfall in 24 hours after the July 26, 2005.
A senior official of the health department of the BMC said those who walked through floodwaters for some time need to take this medicine within 24 to 72 hours of the contact with water to avoid leptospirosis.
The medicine will be distributed free at the BMC's health posts, dispensaries and hospitals after paying a token registration fee, he said.
"This medicine is extremely important for those who waded through or walked for long periods in floodwaters and have a boil or open wound (on the body)," said the official, adding that such persons can approach private hospitals too.
"Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection transmitted through urine or excreta of rats and cattle, can be fatal if not treated in time," he warned.
"The bacteria Leptospira interrogans is carried by many animals in their kidneys. It can end up in soil and water through their urine. When you come in contact with the urine of infected animal, the bacteria may invade through your skin through open wounds," he said.