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‘521 heat-related illnesses in state since Jan, but no heat stroke deaths’

Two deaths were initially suspected to be linked to heat stroke but post-mortem reports ruled that out, Health and Family Welfare Services Commissioner D Randeep told reporters on Friday.
Last Updated : 05 April 2024, 23:09 IST
Last Updated : 05 April 2024, 23:09 IST

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Karnataka has reported 521 heat-related illnesses over the past three months but there have been no confirmed cases of heat stroke and related deaths yet, the state health department said. 

The total includes 342 cases of heat rash, 121 cases of heat cramps and 58 cases of heat exhaustion.

Two deaths were initially suspected to be linked to heat stroke but post-mortem reports ruled that out, Health and Family Welfare Services Commissioner D Randeep told reporters on Friday. 

“One death in Kalaburagi was due to a heart condition called cardiac tamponade and the other at Bagalkot was due to myocardial infarction. Therefore, we cannot say that these deaths were directly
due to a heat stroke,” he explained. 

He assured that hospitals and doctors across the state, especially those in the northern districts, have been instructed to keep a close watch on any such heat-related illnesses (HRI) and report them on the Integrated Health Information Portal (IHIP). 

Additionally, all district hospitals have been instructed to set up five beds for heat stroke management and stock up on necessary drugs and medical equipment to treat any HRIs. “We have instructed doctors to not take any cases lightly.” 

‘Don’t create panic’

Addressing concerns about a potential cholera outbreak, Randeep urged people to not create a sense of panic by misreporting acute diarrhoeal diseases as confirmed cases of cholera. 

“If we need to test someone for cholera, we have to test their stools. We don’t receive immediate results,” he said. A hanging drop test of a stool sample can show the presence of the bacteria responsible
for cholera but a culture test report is necessary to confirm it. 

“In the last three months, only six cholera cases have been confirmed. There was a report that mentioned a private hospital’s doctor saying that the city has seen a 50% jump in cases and 20-30 patients come in every day but we found zero cases when we checked that hospital’s records,” he said. 

The health department will keep an eye out on cases in Bengaluru and send an investigative team if cases jump in a locality. 

According to data from the health department, Bengaluru city has seen three cases, while the Bengaluru Urban district has seen two cases and Ramanagara has seen one confirmed case of cholera since January this year. 

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Published 05 April 2024, 23:09 IST

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