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Late referrals up dengue deaths among kids: Docs

State Health Dept says preventive measures are being planned

Late referrals up dengue deaths among kids: Docs
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While the pandemic is on the wane, the increasing number of dengue cases in the city is worrying medical practitioners. Doctors at government hospitals say the severity of the viral infection and mortality rate is higher among children. They blame late referrals for this.

“There has been an increase in the incidence of dengue in the past month. While the cases in adults are manageable, paediatric patients present with shock, haemorrhage and other severe symptoms. Most paediatric patients come to the hospitals late as they are not tested immediately after the initial symptoms appear. We have received many referral cases of dengue from other districts and states,” said Dr E Theranirajan, dean of Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH).

RGGGH has seen about 100 cases of dengue this month and there were close to 400 fever cases. The Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital (KMC) has seen around 76 cases of dengue and 367 fever cases since October 1.

The numbers in Stanley Medical College and Hospital have been on the rise over the past few weeks after the city started receiving intermittent showers. Majority of the paediatric patients at the hospital are from Washermenpet, Royapuram, Manali and other nearby localities.

“There are at least four to five suspected fever cases on a daily basis and two to three would be confirmed dengue after tests. The past few weeks have seen a continuous trend of COVID cases in kids, with most of them admitted as viral fever cases. Many parents refrain from testing for dengue once the fever symptoms arise and that leads to complications or even death in some cases,” said Dr Mohan Kumar, a paediatrician at Stanley Medical College and Hospital.

State Health Department officials said the mortality rate in TN was under control and prevention activities were being planned.

“District Administration officials have been instructed to carry out control and prevention activities. There are no major outbreaks but late referrals are an issue,” said Dr TS Selvavinayagam, director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

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