: Two more deaths from chikungunya-related complications at New Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital took the death toll in Delhi-NCR to 15, with the number of people with fever symptoms visiting Delhi hospitals going up three times.
“Both patients were men above 70 and had diabetes, one of the two was also hypertensive. They were referred to Sir Ganga Ram from other hospitals in a critical state and were admitted straight to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU),” said a hospital source, requesting anonymity.
Both the patients died on Thursday evening.
Thirty-one patients with chikungunya are admitted in the hospital, two of whom are serious.
Another 60-year-old woman, who was also positive for chikungunya, died at Fortis Hospital in Shalimar Bagh, on Thursday night.
“The deaths show all patients followed a similar pattern of illness, beginning with acute kidney injury, progressive fall in blood pressure, resistance to life-saving drugs, and eventually leading to respiratory and circulatory failure,” said Dr DS Rana, chairman, nephrology, Ganga Ram.
“Whether this is a casual association or causal association with chikungunya, it needs to be established,” he said.
The emphasis on investigating the cause of deaths was also put because most deaths took place at private hospitals. Of the 15 deaths, only two deaths have been reported at public hospitals, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Hindu Rao hospital.
Chikungunya numbers may be higher than what has officially been reported as not all who show symptoms get tested. Those who do may show false negative results if they get tested either too early or too late for diagnosis.
“We usually do not prescribe chikungunya tests in patients who show symptoms of the disease. Only where we suspect chikungunya or dengue but the patient doesn’t show clear symptoms do we ask for these tests to confirm,” said Dr Srikant Sharma, senior consultant, medicine department, Moolchand Hospital.