For the last three weeks, life for the Yadav family revolves around commuting between the hospital and their residence.
They are one of the many families that have been severely affected by the outbreak of mosquito-borne infections over the last two months leading to a spurt in chikungunya and dengue cases in hospitals across the city.
Arun Yadav (49), a resident of Sector 22, was the first person in the family to contract chikungunya on August 31. Soon, his two children Bhavya (16) and Bhumik (11) were also diagnosed with the infection.
“My kids and I are visiting the hospital daily as a precautionary measure to get an update of our platelet counts and medication. Otherwise, we have been on complete bed rest and do not leave home unless necessary,” Arun said.
Such has been the outbreak this season that hospitals are having queues of patients with symptoms of dengue and chikungunya in their OPDs.
Private hospitals are reporting over 200 suspected cases of chikungunya and 100 cases of dengue daily. The blood samples of over 90 suspected patients of the infections are also being tested daily at the civil hospital.
During a spot visit 10 days ago, a 20-year-old patient was seeking treatment at Fortis Memorial Research Institute. He was suffering from high fever for the last four days, with body rash and joint pains. The queue of patients waiting before him stretched on. Soon, to accommodate him and others, the hospital staff had to transfer patients to the emergency ward for treatment.
Since then, the hospital has made it a practice to place extra beds in the emergency ward for patients exhibiting symptoms of mosquito-borne infections.
Seeing the surge, last week, the district health department had to issue an order to all hospitals making it mandatory to accommodate extra beds for patients suffering from dengue or chikungunya. Yet, people complained that due to the sudden influx of patients in private hospitals, the staff is unable to provide beds and they are forced to take injections while sitting.
“My wife was given injections and other medicines while sitting in the OPD section in a private hospital of Gurgaon. I cannot blame the hospital as there are so many patients with high fever coming in daily,” said Naresh Dahiya, a city resident.
At Medanta-the Medicity, 50 cases of patients with symptoms similar to chikungunya and 30 patients with dengue are flooding the outpatient department (OPD) every day. Of these, more than 20 complained of severe aches and have been admitted.
The city has reported 51 cases of dengue this season. Unlike Dengue, chikungunya is not a notifiable disease. It is not mandatory for doctors and hospitals to immediately report every case of chikungunya to the health department and, hence, there are no exact figures of the disease. Hospitals can take time to compile the data and can send it over to the health department every week or send the combined figures at the end of the month.
However, private hospitals are reporting a five-year high in the number of chikungunya cases. Unofficial estimates place the number of confirmed cases above 300.