Dengue-Covid-19 Season: Will Delhi’s Healthcare Infrastructure Be Able To Cope With This Double Whammy?

COVID-19 and the mosquito-borne disease have overlapping symptoms. Many scientists and doctors have already warned that India's healthcare infrastructure would not be able to cope this double whammy.

dengue

Another health crisis is staring Delhi in the face as a whopping rise of 24 per cent in Dengue, Malaria, and Chikungunya cases were recorded in the last one week.

Currently, Delhi’s healthcare is struggling to control the ongoing Covid pandemic.As if t is not enough, the latest report by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which publishes infection data from all municipal corporations of Delhi, reveals 24 fresh cases of Dengue, 38 cases of Malaria, and 7 cases of Chikungunya were reported in Delhi between August 23 to 29.

While the total incidents of Dengue have reached 105 this year, 128 people have been infected with Malaria, and the tally for Chikungunya is 44 till August 29.

“Mosquito-breeding has been reported in at least 44,259 households, and 35,103 legal notices have been issued this year. The Dengue breeding checkers have checked 12,666,665 houses and also issued challans to 1,512 numbers of office and residential premises,” said the report.

Highest prevalence of vector-borne diseases was reported from the areas under the jurisdiction of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC). The corporation recorded 56 per cent cases of Dengue and 57 per cent of Chikungunya cases from the total. In numbers, it reported 59 out of 105 cases of Dengue, and 25 out of 44 cases of Chikungunya.

COVID-19 and the mosquito-borne disease have overlapping symptoms. Many scientists and doctors have already warned that India’s healthcare infrastructure would not be able to cope this double whammy.

Healthcare infrastructure will struggle because it will to invest on two different diagnostic tests. The combination will be fatal for many patients as each disease has the potential to make the other complicated.

According to an estimate, every year, 100,000 to 200,000 confirmed cases of dengue are reported in India.

According to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), 1, 36, 422 dengue cases were diagnosed in 2019 and an estimated 132 people died.

Once the dengue seasons starts, the infection spreads aggressively, due to high prevalence of its mosquito vector, aedes aegypti.

Is it Dengue or is it COVID-19?

Source: CDC

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers in areas where dengue is endemic or who are treating patients with recent travel history to these areas, need to consider dengue and COVID-19 in the differential diagnosis of acute febrile illnesses.
  • Most people with dengue and COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home; symptoms usually last a few days, and people tend to feel better after a week.
  • However, both dengue and COVID-19 can cause severe illness that can result in death.
  • The clinical management for people who develop severe illness with either of these two diseases is quite different, often requiring hospital-based care.
  • Anyone of any age can develop severe illness with dengue or COVID-19. Both infections are more likely to cause complications in adults with underlying chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
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