Surge in hospital admissions for viral fever, common flu
CHENNAI: Hospitals in the city are seeing a surge in the cases of fever across all age groups. Most cases are dengue, viral fever, suspected brain fever and Covid.
With the recent change in the weather conditions, people remain confused of whether it’s the flu or Covid.
“Given safe behaviours, lockdowns, masking, and physical distance maintenance, the flu season over the last two years was controlled. However, this further caused low levels of exposure and natural immunity within the population. So, any rule-relaxation could result in a significant increase in influenza infections this year,” says Dr Somu Sivabalan, consultant paediatrician and pulmonologist, Dr Rela Institute and Medical Centre.
The number of cases with common flu or influenza is increasing, especially after the recent rains.
Chills, fever, common cold, decreased appetite, bitter tastebuds and, in some cases, lower respiratory tract infections are some of the common symptoms reported in most types of fever.
“We see a rise in the cases of fever post rain, mostly in September and October. That’s why it’s important to take a flu vaccine during this part of the year,” said Dr Vaibhav Suresh, preventive medicine specialist, Fortis Hospital.
"The stagnation of water is the main cause of some of these infections, and because of mosquito breeding Dengue and Malaria cases go up," added Dr Vaibhav.
Overall Covid cases remain low, but doctors say that many cases are unreported because of co-infections and varied symptoms.
Dr Ashwin Karuppan, senior consultant of internal medicine, Gleneagles Global Health City, said: “Safety precautions followed by the public have reduced recently because Covid numbers have dropped in the last 1 month. Many did not take the flu vaccine in the last 2-3 years due to the pandemic. Elderly people, children and people with comorbidities must be vaccinated against H1N1 flu.”
Hospitals are also reporting cases of dengue and malaria as water stagnation leads to increased incidence of mosquito-borne diseases.
"Though there no dengue outbreak has been reported so far, cases are being reported occasionally. Viral fever cases are being brought for admission as cases of high intensity fever are witnessing an increasing trend. There are no significant increase in Covid cases as we have only four positive cases currently out of the 20 samples tested in past 24 hours," said Dr P Balaji, Dean of Stanley Medical College and Hospital.
Though the overall Covid cases remain low, doctors say that several cases do not get reported due to right testing procedures because of co-infections and varied symptoms.