AIIMS Delhi fights against COVID and dengue together; details

By: |
September 15, 2020 6:18 PM

The doctors are facing challenging situations with people being co-infected with dengue as well as COVID-19.

According to latest official statistics, it is estimated 13 people per 10,000 were infected in England between August 22 and September 7, compared with four people per 10,000 between July 24 and August 11.Diagnosis for both dengue and Coronavirus is a challenge and there are no antiviral drugs or vaccines.

With Coronavirus transmission still on a rise and dengue cases surfacing as well, it has become a problematic situation. The doctors are facing challenging situations with people being co-infected with dengue as well as COVID-19. It is to note that the initial symptoms and laboratory parameters of these infections are more or less the same. One such case emerged at AIIMS Delhi where a 30-year-old woman tested positive for Coronavirus and dengue. A report by the IE highlighted that the woman admitted at AIIMS was successfully treated.

The report said that the symptoms included moderate grade fever, headache, chills, body pain, and fatigue. But the woman did not have any respiratory symptoms like sore throat, cough or breathlessness. As for fever, she underwent a COVID-19 test, which later turned out to be positive. Further, her platelet count was also low. Citing Dr Ashutosh Biswas, professor of medicine, AIIMS, the report said that the low platelet count and joint pain also made the situation suspicious of dengue. She was later positive for dengue NS1 antigen.

In such a case, treatment becomes critical. The report noted that the presence of Coronavirus has extended the infection period for dengue. Usually, a dengue patient tests negative in 5-7 days, but in this case, the patient tested dengue positive till the 10th day of illness. Doctors are not clear why the infectivity period was increased. The doctor said this may be a cause of worry with an increase in dengue cases as the season changes. According to him, in both infections, cytokine storms are caused and if a patient is infected with both, the severity of illness will be heightened.

Diagnosis for both dengue and Coronavirus is a challenge and there are no antiviral drugs or vaccines. Therefore, management becomes quite important in these cases. Further, health experts pointed out, co-infection may also cause the mortality rate to go high. If this is the case, hospitals across Delhi will have to plan for situations like this, the report said.

So far, in Delhi, 131 cases of dengue along 114 cases of malaria have been recorded this year.

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