Dengue brings an entire family to hospital, robs others of support

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 07 November 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Dengue has left many families in the city crippled, as several members of the same family have been admitted to hospital at the same time. Among the worst hit is an eight-member family from Kalina, seven of whose members suffered from dengue and were admitted to a private hospital in Vakola between October 14 to 29.

The Sheikh family, which lives in a chawl in Kalina gaothan, described their fortnight-long experience as 'traumatic'.

Irfat Sheikh (44), said the first to fall ill was her sister's son Tehsin (30), who lives with her. "I would get severe headaches and a day before being admitted to hospital I felt like my head would burst. The pain was unbearable so I was taken to the hospital where tests indicated that I was positive for the dengue NSI antigen," Tehsin said.

Immediately the next day, his aunt Irfat fell ill with the same symptoms and was taken to hospital. She was followed in quick succession by her son and daughter who also had to be admitted. Next to be taken to hospital was Tehsin's sister Nafisa. The siblings live with Irfat and her children since their mother passed away.

Finally, Irfat's sister in law was the last victim. "As a family we were troubled. In fact we believe that many of the old homes in our area which are lying lie vacant could be breeding spots for the mosquitoes. I hope that the authorities step up their efforts to curb this menace," said Irfat's daughter Aqsa, who recently recovered from the disease.

The only person in the family left unscathed by the disease was Mansur Sheikh (65), Irfat's brother.

The Sheikhs are not alone. Two families from Khar were hit hard by the disease last month.

A 51-year-old man and his 58-year-old elder sister were admitted to a private nursing home in Khar after they tested positive for dengue. "It was around Diwali. Initially the throat pain did not feel severe, however the fever was very high and doctors asked me to take a blood test. I tested positive for dengue. The next day my sister started vomiting and had high fever. She too tested positive for dengue. We both ended up being admitted to the same hospital," said the man. They even had trouble initially finding a bed in any private hospital, as most of them were occupied.

He said the disease hit the family hard as he and his elder sister were the only support for other family members. Their father suffers from dementia and their mother too is very old. "Although we have a full-time maid at home, we would not otherwise be out of home for so long. While checking the premises for possible breeding spots all we could recollect was some water below the lift area, considering we had cleaned the place recently," he said.

Another family of four in Khar was hit by dengue as two of its members tested positive for the disease. The two 29-year-old women, who were diagnosed with dengue were reluctant to take admission in hospital, and their parents weren't amenable to the idea too, so they set up a temporary care facility at home, including intravenous drips. "Although my daughters have recovered now, we had a really anxious time. We got them treated at home itself," said the father of the two women.

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