Municipal hospitals are recording a rise in hospitalisations over the past three weeks due to the spread of dengue. Doctors said they are worried as the number of dengue cases in the city this year are more compared to last year. However, they added that the disease seems to be less severe this year as fewer deaths have been recorded. There have been three deaths this year, with two in September. In 2015, there were 10 deaths till September.
Dr ND Moulik, head of department, medicine, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General, Sion, said almost 80% of fever cases at the hospital turn out to be patients down with dengue. “We see about 80 cases of fever a day, of which most turn out to be ‘confirmed’ dengue cases. This year we noticed a pattern — dengue is coupled with hepatitis and encephalitis (inflammation in the brain),” she said.
She added that the hospital recorded a rise in the number of pregnant women suffering from dengue. “Maternal cases of dengue need to be treated more carefully as both the mother and the foetus are at risk,” she said.
Dr Amar Pazare, head of medicine department, KEM hospital said every year, dengue cases peak during September. “More people are hospitalised due to dengue, but the cases are less severe compared to last year as the platelet count has not dropped very low. This could be because it is the same viral strain which was present last year,” he said.
The National Institute of Virology is currently testing samples to determine whether the virus strain is different from earlier years. The municipal corporation’s latest health report suggests that there were 1,513 cases of suspected dengue in Mumbai and two deaths between September 1 and 11 across municipal hospitals. However, private hospitals are also seeing a deluge of dengue cases, said Dr Hemant Thacker, consulting physician at Breach Candy Hospital. “I see 10 to 12 confirmed dengue cases a day,” he said.