‘Ordinary’ viral fever lays Mumbai low while dengue occupies the headlines

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 30 Oktober 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Dengue, the mosquito-borne disease, may have been hogging the headlines after a KEM Hospital resident doctor succumbed to it earlier this week, but it's the more commonplace flu or viral fever that has laid Mumbai low this season.

Doctors' clinics are witnessing a steady stream of patients with complaints of fever and sore throat with or without rashes. "We check such patients for dengue and malaria as well, but most of them test negative for them and are likely to be suffering from viral fever," said general physician Dr Hozie Kapadia, who has a clinic in Byculla.

The weekly civic health report released on Tuesday showed that patients admitted to BMC hospitals with fever are almost 10 times the number of patients admitted with dengue between October 19 and 26. "Patients with flu have been thronging our fever wards," said a civic doctor. While 10,490 patients with fever were admitted to various BMC hospitals in October so far, the corresponding number for dengue was 948.

Doctors blame the flip-flop weather in the city for leading to a spike in viral ailments. "Last week's cyclonic storm-related weather change, along with a spike in pollution, have led to an increase in cases of sore throat and fever," said Dr Altaf Patel, who consults at Jaslok Hospital, Peddar Road.

Dr Amol Manerkar, who is attached to hospitals in the Ghatkopar-Kurla stretch, said dengue and viral fever have resulted in long queues at doctors' clinics. "The numbers will increase next week when the flu season sets in with temperatures dipping a bit," he said.

Mayor Snehal Ambekar took a meeting on dengue-malaria control on Wednesday at the BMC headquarters, which was attended by the city's chief health officers and doctors from all major public hospitals. Ambekar has said it's important for the public to be extremely aware of their surroundings and in case of fever or any indications of ailments, to contact the nearest public hospital for treatment.

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