The health authorities also said that private hospitals should avoid confirming dengue cases till samples come positive.
The health authorities have confirmed 12 cases of dengue, out of 63 suspected cases reported in the State capital that were sent for testing to Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM). Intermittent showers have created the right conditions for the dengue virus to thrive in the city. However, there were no fatalities reported, authorities clarified.
While appealing to public to take preventive measures, health officials have requested private clinics and hospitals to notify suspected dengue cases. Barring a few, a majority of private hospitals, clinics and nursing homes here are not reporting suspected dengue cases.
“A month ago, we had sent notices to associations representing private hospitals asking them to notify dengue cases. Reporting suspected cases will help us take preventive measures in areas where the cases have originated,” says District Surveillance Officer, Dr. D. Sriharsha.
The health authorities also said that private hospitals should avoid confirming dengue cases till samples come positive from Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) and Veterinary Biological Research Institute (VBRI). “The WHO guidelines stipulate that samples should undergo IGM ELISA test, which are available only at IPM and VBRI,” Dr. Sriharsha advises.
Senior physicians maintained that there was no need for the public to panic. “The Aedes mosquito responsible for dengue, is a day time biter. Measures such as getting rid stagnant fresh water at home and surroundings are simple ways to avoid dengue. Majority of dengue cases are self-limiting and can be managed,” former Superintendant of Gandhi Hospital, Dr. B. Balraju said.
The Aedes mosquito breeds quickly in fresh water-filled pots, plastic bags, discarded tyres, etc. After the mosquito bite, within five to eight days, in some cases a fortnight, symptoms start to appear. Chills, headache, backache and pain in joints are common symptoms. In some cases, body temperature rises quickly and heart rate blood pressure dips and such patients need to consult the doctor immediately, doctors advise.
The fatal form of dengue is Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and usually is seen in children.
The DHF starts abruptly and within two days, children go into shock. Blood spots in the skin, blood in the stool, bleeding gums and nose bleeds are some symptoms. The virus affects the blood platelet count and patients may need blood transfusion.
“Normal platelet count is between 1.5 lakh and four lakh. When the platelet count goes down to 20,000, then they have to be replenished,” Dr. Balraju said.