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Spike in viral fever cases in Pune, doctors say is ‘self-limiting’

Though as all four serotypes (dengue strains) are prevalent in the city, several patients have been tested negative for the viral infection despite a marginal dip in their platelet count.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: October 20, 2015 12:40:21 am

While there has been an increase in the number of people in the city complaining of high grade fever and joint pain in the last fortnight, doctors say that though it seems similar to a dengue like illness, it was a self-limiting one.

Though as all four serotypes (dengue strains) are prevalent in the city, several patients have been tested negative for the viral infection despite a marginal dip in their platelet count.

Dr Avinash Bhondwe, vice-president of the state unit of Indian Medical Association (IMA), said there was no reason for panic as the change in weather also contributed to a rise in the number of respiratory tract and gastro intestinal tract infections. “However, the age group is extreme this time. It is either children or the elderly who are coming in with fever and joint pain,” Bhondwe said.

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Dr Umesh Vaidya, in charge of the neo natal intensive care unit at KEM hospital, said there were several viruses in the air.

“Dengue and swine flu have a high level of toxicity while other viral fevers have moderate symptoms. However, since similar symptoms are seen in cases of nausea, vomiting and joint pain, most parents are worried about their children getting dengue. What is important is a thorough clinical examination and repeat tests after four to five days of fever.”

Dr Vivek Billampelly, former president of General Practitioners Association (GPA), said there had been a rise in the number of patients with viral fever and joint pain.

“We also ask patients to rule out chikungunya. Basically, the viral infection is a self-limiting one,” Billampelly said.

Bhondwe said the best form of treatment was to provide plenty of water and fluids, paracetamol and freshly prepared home food.

At KEM hospital, chief consultant Dr Rajesh Gadia who has been treating dengue cases and started polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, said although they had found all four serotypes circulating in the city, dengue 2 was most common and also the critical one. “Some patients can rapidly go bad. So at the start of any high grade fever, it is important to first rule out dengue,” Gadia said.

Dr N D Thakur, deputy health officer at the Pune Municipal Corporation said, that since January this year, there had been 773 cases of dengue fever. It is likely that extreme temperature variations have also led to the increase in the number of viral fever cases, he said.

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