As monsoon advances in Gujarat, cases of vector-borne diseases are on the rise, even as state health department officials say it is likely to go up further in the post-monsoon months of September and October.
Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is conducting the medical death audit of a 48-year-old builder who is suspected to have died of dengue hemorrhagic fever on August 10, a health official told The Indian Express.
An AMC health official said on condition of anonymity that vector-borne diseases in Ahmedabad city are on the rise month wise but is lower than that reported in 2019.
Medical officer with the state’s National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) under the state health department, Dr Mukesh Kapadia, says the numbers may see a further increase in September and October during the post-monsoon period.
“Ahmedabad city has not reported a confirmed dengue death so far but the patient who died on August 10 appears to have had dengue haemorrhagic fever though a medical death audit is under way. The patient also had diabetes, which may have exacerbated the disease progression, giving rise to complications,” said the AMC official.
Dr Bhavin Solanki, medical officer of health at AMC, said, “We are still in the monsoon period and vector-borne diseases peak in the post-monsoon period. However, this time people are lax in eliminating mosquito breeding grounds. Something as innocuous as bird-feeders are also required to be emptied as they become breeding grounds.”
Cautioning that while individuals with comorbidities are at higher risk of developing complications, Solanki added that the disease progression is dependent on the viral load, making healthy individuals, too, susceptible to complications. “Rest and fluid intake from day one of the onset of symptoms is a must,” he said.
Dr Maharshi Desai, head of general medicine department at Apollo Hospitals, Ahmedabad, noted that this year the private hospital is predominantly seeing cases of malaria and dengue among vector-borne cases.
“The majority of dengue cases are non-fatal, while one to two per cent of the cases may become fatal. Mortality in terms of total positive dengue cases is less than one per cent. So from the first day of the symptoms itself, we must take precautions, and the observation period is usually seven to 12 days,” said Desai.
If an individual is fairly okay until the seventh day, one can safely assume that the case is non-fatal, he added.
Cautioning about uncomplicated dengue cases that can convert into dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS) that can be fatal, Desai said, “There is no treatment for dengue… it is broadly supportive treatment… Healthy individuals and comorbid individuals are more or less equally susceptible to slipping into severe disease. Complications include low blood pressure or organ failures that can cause internal bleeding. When these symptoms show up, we can say the patient is going towards DHF or DSS.”