As the number of dengue cases rise alarmingly in Delhi, hospitals are also witnessing an increasing number of other viral and bacterial diseases this season.Analysis of several suspected cases of dengue have revealed that many are, in fact, other diseases, especially bacterial infections, according to doctors.
“Bacterial diseases are increasing this year. Besides dengue, there are several other diseases with symptoms similar to dengue. For instance, all sepsis or blood infections cause a fall in platelets, and these might be confused with dengue till further tests and examinations are conducted. Also, several patients with complaints of dengue turn out to be suffering from bacterial diseases like typhoid or B.coli,” said Dr Chand Vattal, chairperson of the microbiology department at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
Respiratory diseases with symptoms including fever, nasal discharge and cough are common this season, said doctors.
“The initial symptoms are similar to dengue, which causes confusion,” said Dr Lalit Dar, professor of microbiology at AIIMS.
He added, “There has been a conspicuous increase in dengue cases this year. However, there are patients with common seasonal diseases like malaria and typhoid…which occur every year during the monsoons.”
A few cases of co-infections — when a patient suffers from dengue as well as another disease — have also been reported this year, said doctors.
“Co-infections are reported by 8-10 per cent of patients. This is a common phenomenon. This year, because of the dengue outbreak, we are following the first line of testing and treatment for all patients with suspected dengue and treating them accordingly,” said Dr S Chatterjee of Apollo hospital. “But if the test results don’t match, we begin other tests. When other diseases like typhoid or malaria are diagnosed, we treat patients accordingly,” he added.