The Ghaziabad district health department has confirmed a total of 80 cases of dengue and 82 chikungunya cases in the city. In the past two days itself, the department confirmed 28 cases of chikungunya and 18 cases of dengue. Meanwhile, in neighbouring Gautam Budh Nagar, the district health department confirmed 23 chikungunya cases in the past week itself, taking its total to 24.
According to officials, of the total 93 samples of suspected chikungunya patients screened on Thursday, 12 were found positive from Ghaziabad, one from Delhi and two from Noida. On Friday as well, 93 samples were screened, of which 16 were found positive from Ghaziabad, one from Delhi and two from Noida.
“Some samples from nearby cities like Noida, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr and others are also sent to our labs to be screened. Hence some cases from other cities too are found positive at our labs,” said Dr GK Mishra, district malaria officer.
Similarly, of the 35 samples of suspected dengue patients screened on Thursday by the health department, five were found positive while out of 78 samples screened on Friday, 13 tested positive for dengue.
“Continuous fogging drives are being carried out in the city by the health department every day. This year, more patients are found to be suffering from chikungunya than from dengue,” said Dr Mishra.
City doctors too said the number of suspected chikungunya patients is rising by the day.
“I am seeing almost 80 patients with suspected chikungunya in Ghaziabad every day. It has almost become an epidemic since the number of patients is rising but the number of doctors and staff remains the same. All hospitals are stretching themselves and overworking,” said Dr Vinay Bhatt, consultant, internal medicine, Columbia Asia hospital, Ghaziabad.
Meanwhile in Noida, the 23 confirmed chikungunya cases were sent by the health and family welfare department in Delhi after collecting samples and confirming them from various Delhi based hospitals.
“Delhi’s health department has sent us a list of 23 chikungunya cases in which the patients are from Noida and Greater Noida. This takes the total count of chikungunya patients to 24 apart from four dengue patients in the district,” said Dr Vijay Deepak Verma, chief medical officer.
Chikungunya, a vector-borne disease, shares many of its symptoms with dengue and is caused by mosquito bites too. According to doctors, senior citizens and those already unwell are most vulnerable to the disease.
“The severity of symptoms is higher in chikungunya than in dengue. Sudden and unbearable joint pain is the most common symptom of chikungunya. At times, the pain can linger for one to two months as well,” said Dr Aman Dua, an orthopaedic surgeon with the online platform Buzz4Health. However, he added that unlike dengue, chikungunya is not fatal.
The district chief medical officer said a majority of the chikungunya patients have been detected from various sectors of Noida. However, he could not confirm whether patients were concentrated in any specific sector.
“While the patients are from both Noida and Greater Noida, a lot many are from various sectors of Noida city. However, they are scattered across Noida and any single sector is not in focus,” said Dr Verma.
In the wake of the increase in chikungunya patients, the Noida authority is planning to increase fogging in various sectors of the city.
“We have been conducting fogging for the past two to three months and will continue to do so till the monsoon ends,” said SK Gupta, project engineer, health department.