A 54-year-old man from Uttar Pradesh who had tested positive for chikungunya and was suffering from a host of other diseases died in AIIMS due to multi-organ failure, the hospital confirmed Thursday. This took the death toll in Delhi hospitals due to chikungunya-related complications to 12.
A senior doctor at AIIMS, however, advised against sweeping generalisation in the death of the man, who was from Muzaffarnagar district. “The patient had other diseases and chikungunya was, perhaps, only an incidental thing. He had tested positive for chikungunya at an outside laboratory. He had complications such as sepsis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, septic shock and multi-organ dysfunction. I don’t know whether we can call this death (on Tuesday) due to chikungunya,” said the doctor.
Another chikungunya-related death was reported at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where a 75-year-old man from the city’s southeast district died Thursday morning. Though he had tested positive for chikungunya, he was an “old patient of chronic myeloid monocytic leukemia”, said hospital officials.
The dengue toll too rose after the AIIMS Thursday said nine patients had died due to the disease this month. In its official data till September 11, the MCD had put the number of dengue deaths in Delhi at four this season.
An AIIMS official said 70 per cent of the patients who tested positive for chikungunya and dengue were from UP, 10 per cent belonged to Bihar and the rest Delhi. “In the case of dengue, a total of 96 patients have been admitted to AIIMS so far this month. Of them, 56 have been discharged. There were 65 admissions for chikungunya and 62 were discharged after treatment,” the official added.
Amid the spike in the vector-borne diseases, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain has written to the Centre, requesting a meeting with health ministers of states neighbouring the capital. The meeting would be to prepare a strategy to deal with dengue and chikungunya “outbreak” as many of the patients are coming to Delhi from other states due to “lack” of proper healthcare facilities there.
“… Many of the patients coming to Delhi hospitals are from neighbouring states in the NCR, apparently due to lack of proper healthcare facilities in the said states, thus, creating pressure on the medical infrastructure in Delhi in general and government hospitals in particular,” Jain wrote to Union Health Minister J P Nadda. Jain is scheduled to meet Nadda Friday to discuss the mosquito-borne infections.
Jain also said, unlike dengue, chikungunya alone could not cause death. “A debate has started on this (death due to chikungunya) but I am not competent to decide. Only doctors and scientists will be able to take a call on why they died. Nadda ji told me no one has died of chikungunya in the entire country. People die directly of dengue. But medical literature says normally people do not die of chikungunya,” added Jain.