The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday declared two more deaths in the city as confirmed dengue casualties. With BMC’s confirmation, the official dengue death toll in the city now stands at 12, for 2014.
The new figures were confirmed by the special death investigation committee on Friday, which said that of the 19 deaths suspected to have been caused by dengue, only 12 had been confirmed.
There is a disparity between the figures given by the BMC and those obtained from private hospitals, as different tests are used to diagnose the disease. The BMC uses an advanced diagnostic test called Elisa. “The total numbers of deaths and cases decided by the death investigation committee are the conclusive statistics for dengue in Mumbai. The committee, after thorough investigation, arrived at the conclusion that the remaining seven deaths cannot be termed as dengue deaths,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, chief epidemiologist, BMC.
One of the two newly confirmed dengue deaths is that of the 52-year-old Mulund resident K Radhakrishnan. A senior cashier at a power utility company, Radhakrishnan was admitted to the ICU of Fortis Hospital, Mulund on November 8, and died the next day. The second death was that of a 28-year-old man who was admitted to the ICU of VN Desai Hospital in Santacruz on November 15. He died the next day. Doctors at the civic-run VN Desai Hospital said the patient lost crucial time in self-medication. A doctor involved in his treatment said his platelet count dropped very rapidly.
“The patient was soon moved to the ICU where he was transfused with 12 units of platelets and one unit of blood. But he went into shock. He eventually developed acute respiratory distress syndrome, which caused his death,” the doctor said.
According to the BMC’s public health department, the total number of confirmed dengue cases this year now stands at 760. But the number of suspected dengue cases in October alone is 2,900. “The broad criteria on which we concluded the deaths as confirmed dengue cases was that, if the patient had any other pre-existing co-infectious condition, it could not be termed a dengue death,” said Dr Om Srivastava, one of the experts on the death investigation committee.