New Delhi: Failure of the civic agencies to control the spread of dengue - which has claimed two lives besides affecting 949 people this season - has gradually led to panic in the city.
Most hospitals in the city say they are flooded with patients suffering from the condition and comparable symptoms like high fever, headache and rushes. They are all insisting on admission, leading to scarcity of beds.
What's worse, contrary to the preliminary findings by microbiologists which indicated prevalence of a milder strain of the dengue virus, emerging data suggests the disease is causing more severe symptoms now as compared to last year.
"The disease has unusual clinical symptoms and its severity has certainly increased. The fall of platelet count is rapid in most cases," said Dr A B Dey, professor of medicine and chief, geriatric services, at All India Institute of Medical Sciences ( AIIMS).
He said mortality rate is still lower because most health practitioners are now familiar with the disease and patients are being managed better. "Usually, dengue cases drop with fall in temperature which is not the case this time," he added.
According to Dr Richa Dewan, medical superintendent of Lok Nayak Hospital, 16 suspected cases of dengue were admitted on Monday. "The disease is more severe this time. Any patient who comes to us with dengue symptoms is kept in observation for 24 hours - till reports arrive - and then treatment is started. There is no scarcity of platelets or any medicine though," she said.
Liver failure due to dengue, a rare manifestation of the disease, was observed in at least two patients admitted at Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) recently, a senior doctor said.
At least three children admitted at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome due to the infection and they had to be put on a high frequency ventilator.
"They survived because they were in ICU care," said Dr K Chugh, chairman of the paediatric department at the hospital. Officials at Moolchand Medcity Hospital in South Delhi said they have received 245 dengue cases in October.