Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 19 Jul 2016 Dengue lurking at ev ...

Dengue lurking at every street corner

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | CHANDRASHEKAR G AND JOYEETA CHAKRAVORTY
Published Jul 19, 2016, 1:43 am IST
Updated Jul 19, 2016, 1:49 am IST
Health Minister Ramesh Kumar plans to hold a meeting with BBMP officials and discuss the issue of fogging and dengue control measures.
There is no vaccine against dengue. The best way to prevent the disease is to guard against  mosquitoes and keep their population down. (Photo: AP)
 There is no vaccine against dengue. The best way to prevent the disease is to guard against mosquitoes and keep their population down. (Photo: AP)

Come monsoons, come dengue? In just a month, the city has seen a sudden spurt in the number of dengue cases reported at major hospitals. This monsoon is giving people no reason to enjoy the splash as the cost of treatment is on the rise too. The blame for this should be laid at the doors of BBMP, which has left huge piles of garbage rotting at every street corner, creating a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. An epidemic is in the making but the city’s top guns are hardly bothered.

Like always , the monsoon has brought the dreaded dengue with it, but this year hospitals are struggling to deal with the number of patients coming to them with the disease  being widely reported across Bengaluru. “We have three people down with dengue in our apartment block,” said Mr Mukherjee, 55, of CV Raman Nagar.

 

Read | BBMP living in denial, says there’s no dengue outbreak

In another part of the city a desperate wife waited for her husband to be admitted to a private hospital as his platelet count had dropped from 50,000 to 30,000. “I have been asked to admit him, but the hospital has no beds yet,”  she said worriedly.  

dengue

Several localities of the city have similar stories to tell, sending the number of dengue cases spiralling alarmingly across hospitals this year. At the Chinmaya Mission Hospital in Indiranagar, doctors have  treated 364 positive dengue cases in just a month, between May 30 and July 3. “There are five to 10 admissions a day at our hospital and around three blood transfusions every day. We are becoming short of beds and are forced to refer patients to other hospitals,” said Dr Murali Kumar, the hospital’s chief of casualty.

We  sometimes do fogging in slums before dengue cases are reported there. Otherwise we don’t  do it  as it's highly dangerous to people with respiratory  ailments
— Dr Lokesh, BBMP health Officer

At the St Philomena's Hospital, staff have treated 160 to 180 cases of dengue cases since June this year. Said its medical director, Dr Shankar Prasad. “We don’t have enough beds to accommodate them all and sometimes the ICU is full. Thankfully, there have been  no complications and we are trying to manage with the resources we have.”

dengue

The St John's Medical College has already treated 179 cases of dengue this month. “About five per cent of these patients needed platelet transfusion,” said its medical director, Dr Savio Pereira.

“We get around five new cases of dengue every day. We are now focusing not just on platelet count but also the heart rate, which often falls because of dengue,” disclosed Dr Bindumathi PL, professor and HoD of the Sapthagiri Medical College.

Going by Dr Pavan Mangalore , consultant, Emergency Medicine, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur it admits around seven to eight patients every day and of them one is invariably a critical case.

Many people walk in with low blood pressure and loose stools and on inquiry it turns out they have had papaya leaf juice. While it suits some patients, it doesn’t suit others, who come down with hypotension and shock. So we advise them to stay away from self- medication
— Dr Bindumathi PL, Sapthagiri Medical College

Worryingly, Dr Pankaj Singhai, head of the internal medicine department at Manipal Hospital - which admits some six to 10 dengue patients every day- believes the virus is developing immunity, making the problem even more serious. There is little doubt then that the city is currently at the mercy of the  Aedes aegypti mosquito that flourishes during the day and spreads the disease with its deadly bite. The situation is far worse than last year when the city reported only 496 positive cases of dengue and 1010 suspected cases in the period between January to July 18 , going by state health officials.

dengue

And people are only worsening matters by opting for home remedies on the advice of friends and family, lament doctor. “Many people walk in with low blood pressure and loose stools and on inquiry it turns out they have had papaya leaf juice. While it agrees with some patients, it doesn’t with others, who come down with hypotension and shock. So we advise them to stay away from self- medication,” said Dr Bindumathi.

Ask Health Minister, Ramesh Kumar about the growing number of dengue cases in the city , and he says he plans to hold a meeting with BBMP officials and discuss the issue of fogging and dengue control measures. “We will also ensure that patients are not made to run around for blood required for transfusion,” he assured.

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