IT consultant Suhas Malhotra, 36, woke up with high fever on Tuesday and got tested for H1N1, dengue, malaria, typhoid and bacterial infections the next day.
“It turned out I had malaria and gastroenteritis. I didn’t know one could get twin infections,” said the Vasant Vihar-resident.
Medical experts are not as surprised. Delhi is reeling under an onslaught of viral and bacterial infections, many of which begin with fever, headache and bodyache but go on to make you sick enough to need hospitalisation in less than a week.
"This season, dengue cases are the highest in a decade. Twin infections are also being reported. AIIMS is flooded with H1N1, dengue and conjunctivitis cases, but since there are no beds available, critically-ill patients are stabilised and referred to other hospitals,” said Dr DK Sharma, medical superintendent, AIIMS.
So sick is the city that there are no free beds even in high-end hospitals. Delhi has 724 hospitals and nursing homes with 36,352 hospital beds, which is 2.14 beds per 1,000 persons — 2.5 times more compared to the national average of 0.86.
"Seasonal infections are higher this year. Add to that higher awareness and you have hospitals flooded with people deman-ding admission even when it’s not needed,” said Dr Anupam Sibal, group medical director, Apollo Hospitals. His advice: Manage fever with paracetamol but get tested for dengue, malaria, H1N1 and typhoid if fever over 102 F persists on day three.
The Fortis Group of Hospitals has set up an infectious diseases control team that works 24x7.
With Delhi government and civic agencies shy of admitting the city is facing an infection nightmare, it’s now up to Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad’s to get the city cleaned up in time for the Commonwealth Games.