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Delhi: Dengue cases increasing, say doctors
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | October 02, 2006 16:15 IST
While the Delhi government has been insisting that the outbreak of dengue fever is not very dire, hospitals in the city, including private ones, have been flooded with patients showing symptoms of the fever.
"The situation is very bad and, in fact, it may turn out to be worse than the case in 2003. In our hospital, we have more than 1200 patients with symptoms of dengue fever and more keep coming in every day. Other hospitals are facing similar situations. It has already taken on the proportion of an epidemic," said a leading surgeon of a private hospital, who wished to remain anonymous.
D S Negi, principal health secretary of the Delhi government, admitted that the situation was bad but not as much as is being projected by some doctors.
He said that instructions have been issued to all government and private hospitals not to refuse admission to patients who are running a high fever and showing other symptoms of dengue fever.
"We have already issued instructions to hospitals and we are monitoring the situation around the clock. Cells have been set up for this purpose," Negi said.
According to him, the areas worst affected are Shahdara North East, Najafgarh, Karol Bagh, Civil lines and Rohini.
"The majority of the cases which are coming are from outside Delhi. Out of 448 cases registered so far, we have 201 from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. So far we have got confirmation of eleven deaths and six of them were of the patients from Uttar Pradesh," he said.
This is disputed by doctors of the private hospitals. "The patients are pouring in from all parts of Delhi and are not restricted to some places as is being claimed by the officials in the Delhi government," they say.
Meanwhile, the government has launched a massive programme to create awareness about dengue fever.
"We are using television and radio to reach out to the people and tell them about the disease and what they should do if someone gets high fever. Then we are going to have rallies in which school students will participate," Negi told rediff.com on Monday afternoon.
The death of Raj Kiran, a seventh semester MBBS student from Andhra Pradesh at All India Institute of Medical Sciences some days ago came as a rude shock. However, he was not the only one to be admitted in the intensive care unit of the hospital. Fifteen other students of AIIMS also had dengue fever but are out of danger now.
"Personal hygiene is something for which the administration cannot be held accountable. They are medical students and they know what is to be done in these circumstances. They have to keep their water coolers clean and take care of the disposal of the garbage. Degue viruses are transmitted to humans through the bites of infective female Ades mosquitoes. What is important is that we should keep hygiene levels high. The patient's platelets count should not come down. If that happens, then it is difficult to stop the bleeding," Dr Sandeep Guleria, a senior surgeon at AIIMS told rediff.com.
According to health experts, most cases of dengue fever are coming from those areas which have open drainage systems running through residential areas. Since one such drain runs at the back of AIIMS, the hospital faces a health hazard.