Hyderabad: Municipal officials claim it is very expensive to keep the city mosquito free, but doctors point out that the treatment of mosquito-borne diseases is burning a much bigger hole in the pockets of citizens. Dr Indra Mohan, senior general surgeon says that often people dismiss the symptoms of mosquito borne diseases as being a normal cold and treat it with fever medication. “However, this proves to be more costly as the disease progresses, making it more expensive to treat, especially in the case of dengue.”
Many dengue patients come to hospitals after their platelet levels have dropped, and thus require platelet transfusion which costs about Rs 3,000 per transfusion packet. “Platelet replacement is not done in small hospitals so people have to rely on multi specialty hospitals where labs are available. It costs a lot of money,” the doctor said. The bill at a private hospital for a dengue patient can mount to as much as Rs 15,000 per day in some cases.
Although dengue is the most expensive mosquito borne disease to treat, malaria is a close second. The virus can spread to the brain, causing cerebral malaria. Although cases of cerebral malaria have decreased in the city, they continue to plague the rural areas, say doctors.
Chikungunya is another mosquito-borne disease, which causes immense pain in joints, keeping one homebound. “Proper treatment can take more than three months and many patients are unable to work, causing loss of livelihood,” says Dr Indra Mohan. Doctors say that it is cheaper to prevent these diseases than treat them. Dr Priya Mathur, a general surgeon, says, “It is safe to use recognised mosquito repellent creams available in the market now.”
Mosquito coils - Rs 30-50
Mosquito repellent liquid machines - Rs 150-200
Repellent wristbands - Rs 200-300
Repellent creams - Rs 50-150
Platelet transfusion for dengue
treatment (one time) - Rs 2500 - 3000
- Platelet transfusion done up to four times for patients.
- Extensive treatment for mosquito borne diseases available in private hospitals 1,157 cases of malaria and dengue reported in Hyderabad till July 2017, the highest in five years.
- Doctors claim situation much worse in rural areas.