Bengaluru sees up to 50% rise in UTI cases

BENGALURU: Doctors in the city are seeing an alarming increase in the number of urinary tract infection (UTI) cases. Their advice to people? Stay hydrated and don’t shy away from hitting the washroom often.
Recently, Anita, a 35-year-old teacher from the city, suddenly developed high fever with difficulty in passing urine. On consulting a doctor, she was diagnosed with UTI and put on a course of antibiotics and advised high fluid intake.
“Despite that, my fever did not subside and I was advised a urine culture test. I needed a change of antibiotics till it was better and the fever reduced,” said Anita. Subsequently, she upped her intake of water to at least eight glasses a day, besides drinking fresh fruit juice.
This summer, doctors are seeing up to 50% increase in the number of UTI cases. Dr Chetana V, senior consultant, obstetrics & gynaecology, Aster CMI Hospital, said she is seeing 4-5 cases per day — a 50% increase from last summer. She attributed this trend to people not drinking enough water, holding urine for prolonged period, or having untreated previous infections.
According to doctors, patients come in with burning sensation while urinating, pain due to an infection in the bladder, fever with chills, pain in the lower abdomen and increased frequency of micturition, besides a strong and frequent urge to urinate. Urine routine and culture sensitivity tests confirm the infection. Left untreated, the infection might impact the kidney causing renal infection, also known as pyelonephritis, they added.
Dr Chetana recalled how a 28-week pregnant patient who visited the OPD with complaint of pain in the lower abdomen, came down with plenty of pus cells and more than 1,000 bacteria and had to be treated with antiseptics and mild pain relievers.
Dr Venkatesh Rao, urologist, Specialist Hospital, who sees 6-8 cases a week, double the number of pre-summer cases, said when one has a mild infection, the fluid intake flushes out the bacteria. However, when there is dehydration, the incidence of infection increases.
Doctors agree that women are more prone to UTI than men, and one of the contributing factors is unhygienic common toilets.
Dr Sangeetha Rao TP, consultant gynaecologist at Sagar Hospitals, who has seen a threefold increase (12-15 patients a month) in March-May, said that three patients she treated on Friday had come down with UTI post vacation. Unhygienic washrooms in colleges, workspaces and vacation stays are adding to the numbers, she said. As many as 50% of her patients have complained of UTI due to unhygienic toilets. Dr Rao recommended women use Indian toilets or half squat while urinating to prevent catching UTI.
Dr Naveen MN, consultant urologist, and Dr Nirmala Chandrashekar, consultant obstetrics gynaecology & gynaec oncology from BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital too confirmed a rise in incidence of UTI in those with a history of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, poor perineal hygiene, vaginal infections, history of catheterization, other gynaecological issues like prolapse of uterus, multiple co-morbidities like diabetes and previous surgeries.

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