The count of dengue cases in the civic-run Nair Hospital has risen sharply with as many as 10 resident doctors and one barber working in the hospital suspected of having contracted the disease. While three had to be admitted to the hospital’s Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) due to low platelet count, the rest were kept under observation in the general ward.
BMC Deputy Executive Health Officer Dr Mangala Gomare said, “The situation in Nair Hospital is unusual because dengue cases in the city have dropped since December last. Every week, four to five cases are reported across the city. The 11 cases in Nair Hospital are suspected dengue cases.”
According to the civic health department, there have been 925 dengue cases and 11 confirmed deaths due to dengue in 2013.
Soon after reports of dengue surfaced, the Medical Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) in Nair Hospital inspected the premises. “We found that the flush in several toilets were non-functional. Also due to lack of proper cleaning, there were pools of water in a few places. The stagnant water is one of the reasons for the breeding of mosquitoes,” said Dr Manish Girgaon, President, MARD at Nair Hospital.
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The doctors (four women and six men) who contracted dengue were from the Radiology and Psychiatry departments. Two out of the three admitted in the MICU were discharged Monday while the third male doctor was expected to be discharged on Tuesday.
After discovering the breeding spots, the hospital swung into action and decided to fumigate the campus daily. “It was found that larvae were present in tanks in the toilets. Steps will be taken to clean them and the hospital will undertake fogging daily to drive away the mosquitoes,” said Dr M K Sanjana, acting dean at Nair Hospital.
A first-year resident doctor said, “We have noticed an improvement in the cleanliness. Fogging is being undertaken across the hospital and we are hopeful that no more dengue cases will come up.” However, Gomare said, “Fumigation will not help in solving the issue. What is required is regular maintenance, and removal of these breeding spots.”
Aedes Agypti grows in fresh and stagnant water. It finds favourable conditions in fish tanks, petri dishes and feng-shui pots. Gomare stressed that articles like these should be regularly cleaned. According to Sanjana, a feng-shui plant found in one of the resident’s room earlier last week was immediately removed.
On condition of anonymity, a first-year resident doctor said, “There is always a crunch among cleaning staff. Nobody bothers to clean the hostel corridors daily and our hostel rooms are never cleaned because we are working when the sweepers come. With negligence on the part of the cleaning staff, mosquitoes breed.
Even the toilets are washed once in three-four days. There should be somebody to monitor the work and see if it’s done properly.”