Vector-borne diseases are ganging up this season to give a headache to doctors who have found people being infected by multiple diseases simultaneously.
Ask Shalini Bharti, 19, who survived a deadly mix of dengue, malaria and typhoid. When Bharti was admitted to south Delhi’s Moolchand hospital on October 11, her haemoglobin count was 7.7 g/dl and her platelet count had dropped to 75,000 per microlitre of blood.
“In 10 minutes my fever would go from 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 108 degrees. I remained unconscious for the initial few days and it was only after the blood transfusion that my condition stabilised,” said Bharti.
A first-year college student, Bharti had been diagnosed with typhoid but after she was admitted to the hospital, it was found that she had been suffering from malaria as well.
“We immediately put her on anti-malarial drugs. A combination of all three diseases is usually a rare occurrence. She was critical but fortunate enough to have survived,” said Dr Srikant Sharma, consultant, internal medicine, Moolchand Medcity, Bharti’s treating doctor.
On October 20th, Bharti was finally discharged from the hospital, a day before her 19th birthday on October 21.
Meanwhile, Delhi reported its third dengue death on Wednesday with an 11-year-old girl succumbing to the disease at Bhagwan Mahavir Hospital in Pitampura. Sejal, a student of class five, was admitted to the hospital on Monday. Her father runs an electronics shop in Moti Nagar. The total dengue cases also crossed the 1,000 mark, sitting at 1,019.
But it is the deadly combination of diseases that has the doctors worried. Doctors are advising patients to take multiple tests if fever refuses to die down even after four days of medical care.
“People must not self medicate and certainly should not self-prescribe antibiotics as it will only worsen the condition,” said Dr Richa Diwan, head of department of medicine at Lok Nayak hospital.