VISAKHAPATNAM: The city hospitals are seeing a worrisome trend of sudden spike in suspected dengue cases in infants. Though not many deaths are reported, the parents are admitting their children with severe dengue-like symptoms where complete medical care is essential, say officials.
“More than 200 cases of children aged less than one year, were registered in the last 50 days. A few cases have even required blood transfusion,” said Dr P Venugopal, professor of Paediatrics.
According to KGH report, in the last one month, the KGH has registered 594 viral fever cases, out of which 111 were reported positive for dengue. As 912 positive cases were recorded from January to October, including 165 cases in October alone.
KGH superintendent L Arjuna however has informed that on an average, the number of positive dengue cases have decreased from 4-5 cases per week last month to 1-2 cases this month and no dengue deaths in children have been reported.
Kalyan Prasad, a renowned epidemiologist of the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), on the other hand, said that on an average 10 dengue cases are being reported everyday and victims are making a beeline for the hospitals in the Port City.
“Initially more cases were registered in the KGH but now more dengue cases are being reported from private hospitals,” said Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) epidemiologist L Kalyan Prasad.
Many parents are seen preferring private hospitals despite the expenditure. “We have admitted our four-year-old child to the KGH with dengue fever, but looking at more number of patients and the unhygienic surroundings, we feared to keep her in government hospital. For quick medical attention, we shifted her to a private hospital,” said a homemaker V Padmavathi. However,
Dr Venugopal adds that in some cases, parents who have admitted their children in private hospitals are bringing them here (KGH) when they have no more money to afford treatment in private hospitals. With the efforts of district authorities to contain the spread of the viral fever through awareness campaigns not seeing complete success, and the count of dengue cases only increasing by the day, the officials have extended the campaign to another month.
Highlighting the impact of mosquitoes in the spread of the disease, L Kalyan Prasad says that the menace of mosquitoes is still severe in many areas. Interestingly, the officials are finding it easy to create awareness in slums than in posh areas where majority of the residents are reluctant to cooperate with the authorities during door-to-door campaign. “In some of the areas, all we can do is to announce the precautionary measures through public address system,” Kalyan added.