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Mysterious viral infections soar

Raina Paul, Bengaluru, DH News Service, Oct 1 2017, 3:08 IST
The soaring infections are not the only cause of worry for the medical fraternity. They are now perplexed by another problem: The virus causing the infections are all behaving the same way, and they are unable to pinpoint the cause even after tests.

A disease is confirmed only after a few days. But by this time, it would have spread to other parts of the patient's body. “There are chunks of viral illness that have similar features. Even if it is Dengue, the laboratory test may indicate negative,” says Dr Shilpa Singi, consultant internal medicine, Narayana multi speciality hospital, Whitefield. The test should be done only after five days of the onset of fever, she adds.

This is echoed by other doctors who draw attention to several cases of viral fever which had Dengue-like symptoms but turn out to be negative for Dengue after tests. According to doctors, it is difficult to treat the large inflow of patients during monsoon season.

Besides, many tests cannot be conducted due to lack of laboratories. The tests need specialised equipment available only in cities such as Delhi and Pune.

Preferring anonymity, another doctor from Kirloskar Layout has this to say: “This year, a few cases of viral fever came to my clinic that were mysterious. The patients showed symptoms of both Dengue and Malaria.”

So, how do doctors approach such cases? “Whenever these kind of symptoms are present in the patient, we conduct tests for Dengue, Malaria and Typhoid. The tests would be negative, yet the platelet and WBC counts would drop suddenly. Then it becomes life-threatening,” the doctor says.

This implies the doctors cannot rectify the disease in the initial stage. Precaution is then the byword. “So it's good that patients come to doctors early as soon the symptoms of the viral infection show up. During rainy season, people should take care of their health by having hot and healthy food and also boil water before drinking,” the doctor advises.


Dr SUDARSHAN BALLAL
Chairman, Manipal Hospitals
More patients are being seen with viral fever every day this season. The hospitals are almost full with patients with fever. Some of them are even admitted in advanced care.
UNHEALTHY TREND: JAN 2, 2017 - SEP 26, 2017
DISEASE CONFIRMED CASES
Dengue............................................6,729
Influenza / Flu-like Diseases...........1,506
Chiungunya..........................................71
Typhoid................................................41

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