A 48-year-old policeman attached to the Govandi police station died of a dengue-like fever on Tuesday night.
Doctors treating the policeman said it could not be confirmed as dengue as only one of two tests that confirm the disease came back positive.
This is the second death from similar symptoms in a week, after the death of a JJ Hospital doctor with similar symptoms, that is baffling specialists.
Doctors treating the policeman, Prakash Patil, said he tested negative for the ELISA test, but his NS1 tests – which helps detect dengue rapidly – came back positive.
After the NS1 results came back positive at Sanjivani Hospital, he was moved to MGM Hospital in Vashi on September 26. Doctors at the hospital said his platelet count dropped steadily from 98,000 to 32,000 and he was put on ventilator support immediately.
“The patient was suffering from high fever, drowsiness and meningitis (inflammation of brain and spinal cord membranes). We aren’t sure if he was suffering from dengue, because while the symptoms indicated so and the NS1 Antigen test was positive, his ELISA test was negative,’ said Dr Bharat Jagyasi, a doctor at MGM Hospital from Vashi.
Jagyasi said Patil was put on ventilator support but succumbed to multiple disorders. The cause of death given by the treating doctors was severe sepsis with metabolic acidosis (increase in plasma acidity) with viral thrombocythemia (rare chronic blood disorder) with acute lung injury.
The father of two, a 21-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son, Patil was apparently transferred from Pant Nagar police station to Govandi Police station a month ago. “He had high fever for three four days and kept taking medicine from a general physician. Eventually, his condition worsened and he got admitted to hospital,” said Shrikant Mohite, senior inspector of Pant Nagar police station.
Another police official, attached with the Govandi police station confirmed they are facing issues with too many mosquitoes owing to the lack of sanitation facilities and several the presence of possible breeding grounds. “We have a lot of junkyards around,” the policeman said, on the condition of anonymity.
Dr Om Srivastava, head of the Infectious Diseases Cell at Jaslok Hospital who was called to treat the JJ hospital doctor said while the two cases sounded similar, he will have to look into the details to comment on it.
“It looks like a very similar disorder. We have sent samples of multiple such viruses, documented to produce a fierce viral attack to National Institute of Virology and we are awaiting results,” said Srivastava.