Dengue: Official figures do not give the true picture

They do not consider cases reported from private hospitals

Dengue: Official figures do not give the true picture

The number of dengue cases reported in the City is far more than what is placed on record by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

For, they have only been putting on paper cases tested positive only by the National Institute of Virology (NIV), ignoring those reported from private hospitals. 

Even as the City has seen three suspected dengue deaths, there has been no official confirmation in this regard. This, even as the families have laboratory reports confirming that it is a positive case of dengue. 

For instance, last Thursday, 59-year-old Champa Prahlad, a resident of Subramanyanagar, died of dengue. However, even after the family claims to have approached the Palike with the reports, the officials refused, reasoning that it was from a private laboratory. Prahlad’s reports are from a laboratory accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories. 

Speaking to Deccan Herald, one of the top officials from the BBMP confessed that the number of cases in the official statistics would only indicate a part of the actual number of cases in the City. 

“Only if tested positive by the NIV, the case would be put on record. If it is a report from the private lab, it is not accepted. However, we are keeping an eye on the cases in private hospitals as well,” said the official adding that it is the responsibility of the health inspector to keep tabs on the other cases reported and cross examine the reports. 

The number of dengue cases in the City are high even as the actual season is yet to begin, say City doctors. Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, Medical director, Manipal Hospitals said that the hospital had seen an exponential increase in the number of cases of viral fever. “It is not dengue in particular. We have been seeing patients with fever, head ache and dengue-like symptoms,” he added. Dr Ballal added that they see as many as 50 new cases everyday besides treating over 40 as outpatients. 

“There is a general fear in the minds of people about the non-availability of platelets during the season. However, it is something that ought to be used judiciously and is not the be-all and end-all in dengue treatment. One must let the doctor decide,” he added. 

Taking precautionary measures is what is the need of the hour, say doctors. “Especially pregnant women, children and the senior citizens ought to take extra care. Wearing full sleeve clothes and ensuring that a mosquito repellent is used at all times is essential,” said Dr Shalini Joshi, consultant, internal medicine, Fortis Hospitals.

Considering that the cases are plenty in the City, one must visit a doctor if suffering from fever, head ache and body pain for over two days, she said. “This time, the cases have been reported early. It starts in July usually. We can expect the cases to go up further,” she added. 

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