New Delhi: A 65-year-old man today died of chikungunya at a hospital in Delhi, in what could be the first fatality from this vector-borne disease in the national capital. The disease is considered generally as non-fatal.
The victim, R Pandey, succumbed to the disease at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. “He died at the hospital at 4 am. The patient was brought here in a critical condition from Yashodhara Hospital in Ghaziabad on Saturday at 10:30 PM and admitted to ICU. The cause of the death was chikungunya with sepsis,” hospital authorities said.
“The patient died in ICU. His test for chikungunya done by RT-PCR method at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital came positive with high viral count,” they said. One suspected chikungunya death has also been reported at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), but hospital authorities have not yet confirmed it.
“We are yet to confirm if the death was due to chikungunya. We are trying to do so, but till then it is a suspected case,” AIIMS spokesperson Amit Gupta said.
According to reports, the chikungunya death at the AIIMS took place sometime in September and five persons have also “died of dengue” this month.
“The remaining five death cases too are also suspected to be due to dengue. We are trying to confirm them too,” Mr Gupta said. Chikungunya cases in the national capital has sharply risen to over 1,000 this season, marking a jump of nearly 90 per cent from its count last week.
According to a municipal report released today, at least 1,057 cases of chikungunya have been recorded till September 10, however, hospitals in the city altogether are reporting a much higher number.
Authorities at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said, Mr Pandey was kept under the care of a senior specialist in the Department of Medicine and a team of doctors from the Internal Medicine-ICU.
Lalit Dar of Department of Microbiology at AIIMS said, “At our laboratories, 1,360 chikungunya blood test samples have tested positive in the last till yesterday. Cases are rising and more and more people are getting affected.”
Doctors say that chikungunya is not a life-threatening disease in general, but in rare cases leads to complications that prove fatal, especially in children and old persons.