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Updated: July 23, 2012 08:53 IST

Viral infections on the rise

Afshan Yasmeen
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The Hindu

Dengue and chikungunya also join the usual suspects

It is that time of the year again when the city is witnessing an onslaught of viral infections. Hospitals report a rise in cases of viral flu, vector-borne diseases, and respiratory and diarrhoeal infections, thanks to the fall in temperature and intermittent rain.

While dengue has erupted in a more aggressive form, doctors say the weather is also conducive to the influenza ‘A’ H1N1 virus. Stray cases of malaria and chikungunya are also being reported.

Advising precautions, doctors say an estimated seven out of 10 patients suffer from these infections and most end up catching secondary infections.

Dengue cases

Residents of an entire lane at Kullappa Colony of Jeevan Bima Nagar are down with dengue. “At least three persons in each house here have dengue and it is spreading rapidly,” said Jamshed Bhai, who lives in the area and has barely recovered.

While the state-run Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital reported 46 positive cases of dengue fever since July 11, Victoria Hospital sees at least 10 suspected dengue cases every day. Despite three dengue deaths, Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike officials have recorded only 115 confirmed cases.

A senior doctor at Bowring Hospital said at least 200 cases of viral fevers are reported there every day. “We have treated one positive case each of malaria and chikungunya over the last week.”

Main culprits

“The cold weather, rain and the resultant water stagnation are the main culprits. We are also receiving cases of bronchitis and viral flu apart from a minimum of four dengue admissions every day. But so far none of them have been fatal,” says K.R. Ravindra, associate professor at the Department of Medicine, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute.

“Most of the breeding happens in fresh water stored in overhead tanks, water accumulated in construction sites and in the periphery of lakes,” Dr. Ravindra adds.

The situation is similar at the State-run K.C. General Hospital. Senior specialist Mohan says at least six cases of viral flu apart from other infections are being treated there.

BBMP Health Officer Lokesh, in charge of vector control, blames the public for the mosquito menace. “We are trying to create awareness and initiate preventive measures. But as dengue is caused by fresh water mosquito, the onus is also on the people to ensure water does not stagnate and cover water stored in containers and coolers within their homes.”

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