Other States

Rise in non-COVID-19 respiratory cases in Assam

But there have been fewer cases of certain seasonal diseases such as gastroenteritis and skin infections

Major government hospitals across Assam have reported an increase in the number of respiratory diseases not related to COVID-19.

On the brighter side, there have been fewer cases of certain seasonal diseases such as gastroenteritis and skin infections. Violence-related injury cases, particularly across the tea-growing belt, and accident cases have also come down due to the lockdown.

Also read: Guidelines out for non-coronavirus health facilities which have reported COVID-19 patients

But doctors say the “marginal relief” since March 25 could be the “lull” before the “storm” of Japanese encephalitis, malaria and acute dysentery associated with pre-monsoon rains and the monsoon months soon after lockdown is expected to end on May 3.

Weather conditions

“We are treating several SARI [Severe Acute Respiratory Infection] cases because of humidity and weather conditions at this time of the year. They include asthma, fever and cough,” Babul Kumar Bezbaruah, Dean of southern Assam’s Silchar Medical College and Hospital, told The Hindu on Tuesday.

He said the hospital had recorded very few accident emergency cases “probably because of restrictions on movement of people” but the hospital would be “under a lot of pressure” if the lockdown eases in a week’s time.

“The time for acute encephalitis syndrome, Japanese encephalitis, malaria and dengue is drawing near as are flood-related communicative diseases,” he added.

Indra Nath Sutia, Superintendent of Assam Medical College and Hospitals in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh, said 1,012 SARI cases had been admitted daily. “These cases are regular and separated from COVID-19, although suspected to be the same,” he said.

“Injuries because of clashes and anti-social activities have come down probably because of less interaction among people due to the novel coronavirus scare. There are also hardly any cases of food poisoning generally associated with religious functions and eating in unhygienic places,” Dr. Sutia said.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 1:55:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rise-in-non-covid-19-respiratory-cases-in-assam/article31458262.ece

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