After claiming the lives of 12 till date this year and affecting another 660 people, two final year medical students of KEM Hospital, Parel have contracted dengue, while two others are suspected to have the deadly disease.
A doctor from the civic hospital said that in the last 15 days itself, four undergraduate students started showing symptoms such as fever, chills and rashes. “All four are females and while two of them have been diagnosed with dengue, the other two are suspected cases. The two suspected ones are outstation students and have left for home,” said a doctor from the hospital.
Sources added that the students stayed at hostels at Haffkine Institute in Parel, which is close to KEM Hospital. Medical experts attributed the high number of cases this year to the protracted monsoon coupled with unpredictable weather conditions. One doctor said that because of the climate, another KEM student was diagnosed with typhoid earlier this month, but his condition was stable after treatment.
Dengue among infants on the rise
Paediatricians in the city are shocked to see infants as young as 3-months-old suffering from dengue. Dr Mukesh Agarwal, head of paediatrics department at KEM Hospital, said, “Dengue is known to mainly affect adults and children above the age of three. This is the first time that infants have also been affected. In the month of October itself, we treated three infants, the youngest one was three-months-old.” This month, the civic-run hospital has treated two infants, one of whom was six-months-old and the other 10-months-old. All three infants were suffering from thrombocytopenia -- an extremely low platelet count -- which is one of the many symptoms of the vector-borne disease. “A six-month-old from Mankhurd was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday after he underwent treatment for dengue over the last one week. His platelet count was as low as 60,000,” he added.
Dengue shock syndrome -- which occurs due to dengue virus and affects children under 10 -- is potentially fatal. Surveys suggest that kids above 5 years are more at risk of contracting it.
Number of dengue cases reported this year
Number of dengue deaths this year
Number of dengue cases in the month of August