Dengue, viral fever grip Jalandhar
Jalandhar September 27:
As many as 241 dengue cases have been confirmed in the state, of which 141 were from this city. As the official figure is based mostly on the information gathered from civil hospital, the number is far more if the cases admitted to private hospitals, the number of which is more than 300 in the city, were also considered.
However, private hospitals do not take the trouble of informing the government even critical cases such as dengue. Some deaths of suspected dengue patients have also been reported but their exact number is not available. Dengue and viral fever has taken the form of an epidemic in the city. Since September 1, nearly 2,500 patients with high fever and severe headache have been admitted to the local civil hospital.
Of these, 1,250 were suspected to be dengue patients and they were subjected to serology test, a preliminary test for dengue. The civil hospital is virtually overflowing with patients. Treatment of dengue is costly and poor people cannot afford it. Obviously, failure of the local municipal corporation on the sanitation front has made people suffer from dengue and viral fever. It is also the failure of the district administration to get the needful done from the various departments related to health hygiene.
What is bothering the doctors the most is that receding platelet count was being confirmed among non-dengue patients also. Doctors say they were suffering from the most virulent form of viral fever. During the past four weeks, over 500 patients have reported in the civil hospital laboratory with platelet count less than 50,000 against the normal range of 1.5 to 4 lakh. Considering the severity of the outbreak, six PCMS doctors have been deployed in the wards. Three MD (Pathology) doctors have also been put on duty. As many as 12 technicians are working in the blood bank.
Two more expert technicians have been called from blood banks of other civil hospitals of the district. Obviously, the medical staff is over-stretched as it has to cope with such a huge rush of patients. Although the health authorities claim that the department has been doing day-to-day monitoring and surveillance of disease under the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme, the surveillance seems to have lost its essence.
Dengue symptoms include high fever for four to five days, usually accompanied by severe headache, pain in the eyes, muscle and joint pain and rashes. After the fever goes away, the blood platelet count starts dipping.