COVID-19: Health dept tells hospitals to watch out for co-infections

By: |
October 20, 2020 3:07 PM

Cases of dengue, malaria, chikungunya, seasonal influenza and other diseases are expected to rise with the onset of winter. Some of the COVID-19 patients have been diagnosed with dengue too.

The report highlighted that as per 2019 data, nurses accounted for more than one-third of all healthcare workers in the United States.

The Delhi health department has written to all hospitals and district authorities to be alert about co-infections of COVID-19 with other seasonal ailments and implement management guidelines on it issued by the Union Health Ministry.

Cases of dengue, malaria, chikungunya, seasonal influenza and other diseases are expected to rise with the onset of winter. Some of the COVID-19 patients have been diagnosed with dengue too.

The Directorate General Health Services (EMR Division) of the Health Ministry had recently released guidelines for management of co-infection of COVID-19 with other seasonal epidemic prone diseases, officials said.

“The document provides clear guidelines on prevention and treatment of co-infections of COVID-19 with diseases like dengue, malaria, seasonal influenza (H1N1), leptospirosis, chikungunya, scrub typhus, bacterial co-infections etc,” reads the letter sent by the department to all Delhi government hospitals and district magistrates on Monday.

The Union Health Ministry had issued guideline on October 13.

“Seasonal epidemic prone diseases may all present as febrile illness, with symptoms that mimic COVID-19. If there is a co-infection, then apart from febrile illness, there may be constellation of signs and symptoms that may lead to difficulty in diagnosis,” the ministry had said.

Seasonal diseases can not only present a diagnostic dilemma but may co-exist with COVID-19.

“This poses challenges in diagnosis of COVID-19 and has a bearing on clinical management and patient outcomes,” it said.

Doctors at various hospitals said, co-infection or double infection may confuse the patient too, as those having simple flu might start rushing for COVID-19 tests.

“For us, the broad symptoms of COVID-19 and say of dengue and chikungunya, might help in distinguishing, as dengue and chikungunya is accompanied with pain in joints, etc, but a patient may be having both infections, so we have to be careful,” said a senior doctor at a Delhi government hospital.

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