Kolkata: Doctors across several private hospitals across the city have started recommending NS1 and Elisa tests to patients with symptoms of the viral disease. The prevailing weather conditions, they pointed out, are ideal for breeding of mosquitoes which could lead to a sudden outbreak by the end of the month. It could be risky taking chances and it’s time for all fever patients to rule out dengue through blood tests, they felt. More than 50 had succumbed to dengue in Kolkata between July and November last year.
According to sources sporadic dengue and malaria cases have been reported from AMRI Hospital, Belle Vue and Apollo Gleneagles Hospital over the last two weeks. Even though the frequency of the cases is still not alarming, it’s time to gear up and take preventive measures, felt AMRI Hospital consultant Debashish Saha. “Symptoms of viral fever are very close to that of dengue. So, we are recommending blood tests to rule out dengue to all patients suffering from fever with allied symptoms like headache, body ache, nausea and weakness. Especially, if the symptoms don’t recede within 2-3 days, a test to check for dengue must be done,” said Saha.
He added that the beginning of monsoon was the time when the disease started brewing in Kolkata. Senior consultant Arindam Biswas agreed and added that he has been recommending tests to detect both dengue and malaria. “Occasional drizzles, like we have had over the last few days, is ideal for accumulation of water where aedes egypti — the dengue-spreading mosquitoes breed. Heavy rains would have washed out the fresh water puddles where the larvae thrive. This is the time when the larvae breeding reaches a peak and dengue starts spreading, almost unnoticed. So, we need to detect the disease early to check an outbreak,” said Biswas.
He added that along with the virus, accompanying bacterial infections should also be identified and treated. “A majority of those who died of dengue last year were actually victims of bacterial infection. Those with lower immunity, particularly the elderly and the children apart from those suffering from kidney, heart, diabetes, liver ailments or cancer, are more susceptible to bacterial attacks,” added Biswas.
Make children wear fullsleeves to school, especially if they have to attend classes early in the morning, said paediatrician Santanu Ray. “Sporadic dengue cases have started happening, though they are not very frequent yet. But mosquito bites should be avoided and school-going children are more susceptible. A test for dengue must be done if a child has fever, even if it is a mild one,” said Ray.