The short evening spells might have brought some respite from the soaring heat, but doctors say chances of dengue are high during such brief spells.
Nevertheless, government hospitals here claim they are well-equipped to face any emergency as officials deny any 'mystery fever' stalking hinterland. Even as Chennai Corporation has been organising awareness campaigns on infectious diseases as a precautionary measure, government hospitals have joined hands to make sure the city is dengue free.
The Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital which treated hundreds of patients for suspected dengue last year, has a 60-bed dengue ward with a blood bank that has a capacity of over 5,000 units. “This year, so far we have got sporadic cases of dengue and these patients were from other parts of the state,” a senior doctor says.
Apart from the separate wards from male and female, Dr V Kanagasabai, Dean, says that the general hospital has sufficient number of both rapid and Elisa method tests kits and qualified nurses. “We have over 3,000 units of blood now and on Thursday, we are holding camp in a private company at Manapakkam where we expect to collect some 1,000 units of blood,” he says.
Doctors say that Madras Medical College also has qualified professors, who trained doctors in many hospitals in the districts last year during the epidemic. MMC students are now gearing up for an extensive programme to raise awareness.
Students and medical officers at Stanley Hospital have been conducting rallies regularly in zones in North Chennai to raise awareness on dengue.
“We distribute pamphlets and our students explain the preventive measures, symptoms and guidelines to be followed if diagnosed with dengue,” said Dr Geethalakshmi, Dean, Stanley Hospital. “We have an exclusive 10-bedded ward each for pediatric and adults suffering from dengue and we are sufficiently stocked with medicines,” the dean quickly adds.
Advising that people should keep their surroundings clear from broken items like buckets, tyres and coconut shells that can accumulate water and cause the disease, doctors at Government Royapettah Hospital said that short spells have a higher chances of causing dengue than heavy spells.
“We have a good facility for diagnosis. Once diagnosed, patients should be given IV fluids so they don’t dehydrate and if the platelets count go less than 50,000, then we infuse them,” a senior doctor explains and adds no cases of mystery fever was reported so far this year. Doctors say the hospital did not report any documented case of dengue last year and that they would soon be starting their campaigns with posters in the out-patient wards.
Authorities at the Institute of Child Health conducted campaigns within their premises through folk dances and other programmes recently. “This is not the season for dengue but due to the short spells, there is a chance. When we get dengue cases, we isolate the patient. No case has been reported in the last one year,” a senior officer in the hospital said.