Viral infections reach fever pitch in city

Contrary to claims by the health authorities that dengue is under control in the city, hospitals are recording a rise in the number of cases suffering from the vector-borne disease. While two dengue deaths occurred in the State-run Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital this month, most hospitals report being overwhelmed by patients with dengue symptoms.

Even as doctors confirmed that the two victims — an 11-year-old boy and a 30-year-old man — were positive dengue cases, health authorities denied any dengue deaths in the city.

The disease-causing Aedes aegypti mosquito breeds in fresh water and bites during the day.

Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials claimed that only 140 confirmed cases had been reported this year though even a casual visit to hospitals tells a different story.

Rising numbers

While unofficial figures have not been collated, the numbers of those infected by the virus are rising, doctors in government and private hospitals confirmed to The Hindu. “At least four persons are testing positive for dengue on a daily basis in our hospital. The problem was so severe 10 days ago we had no beds to accommodate patients,” said a doctor from K.C. General Hospital.

“Apart from the two deaths, 16 have tested positive for the disease in our hospital since June 1. We have sent the reports to the BBMP about the positive cases along with the patients’ addresses,” said a senior doctor from Bowring Hospital.

In Victoria Hospital, 35 people tested positive this month.

Lab tests

But, health authorities insist only samples that test positive at the 21 sentinel laboratories designated under the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme can be deemed so. Apart from the National Institute of Virology’s field station in Victoria Hospital, the Public Health Institute, National Centre for Disease Control and Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health are the three centres in the city.

BBMP Nodal Officer for National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme K. Sanghamitra said results from these labs are accurate because the samples are tested through the IgM Elisa method.

“Samples investigated through various rapid tests can show false positive results,” she said.

Fever cases

This apart, hospitals are also recording a rise in patients suffering from various viral infections and allergic respiratory disorders such as bronchial asthma, lung and upper respiratory tract infections and viral fever.

S. Rajanna, resident medical officer, Bowring Hospital, said he had seen 400 or so such cases this month.

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