Monday, 30th October 2017

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Viral deluge amid truant showers

The rains may be playing hide and seek, but the humid conditions have led to a spurt in viral and waterborne diseases

By Animesh Bisoee in Dhanbad , Ranchi and Jamshedpur
  • Published 17.07.19, 12:25 AM
  • Updated 17.07.19, 12:25 AM
  • 2 mins read
Patients at Sadar Hospital in Ranchi Picture by Manob Chowdhary

The rains may be playing hide and seek, but the humid conditions have led to a spurt in viral and waterborne diseases in cities of the state.

The nearly 200 state-owned and private hospitals in Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad have witnessed a 20 to 45 per cent rise in footfall at the out-patient departments (OPDs) and emergency units over the last fortnight.

Dr J.K. Mitra, head of the medicine unit at RIMS, Jharkhand’s biggest state-run healthcare hub, said there had been a 20 per cent hike in patient footfall.

“We are a tertiary hospital where patients are referred to from other health centres. Still, we have been seeing on an average more than 40 patients every day suffering viral symptoms. The number of patients in primary health centres would be significantly more. It is nothing unusual during this time of the period when lull in the monsoon results in rise in temperature despite moisture in the atmosphere, making it congenial for spurt in viral infections,” said Mitra.

Patients with viral symptoms can be seen queuing up at the Ranchi Sadar Hospital too.

“My daughter returned from school yesterday afternoon and had high fever and today morning has severe headache, fever and vomiting,” said Anisa Begum, a resident of Hindpiri in the state capital. “I rushed her to Sadar Hospital where she had to wait for an hour due to the long queue.”

Jamshedpur’s Sadar Hospital at Khasmahal on the city outskirt has witnessed an almost 40 per cent rise in patients, forcing the hospital authorities to put up additional beds.

“We have a capacity of 70 beds but we are getting more than 120 patients daily. We have no option but to squeeze in beds,” said East Singhbhum civil surgeon Dr Maheshwar Prasad. “The OPDs are flooded with viral-fever patients who are given medicines and advised rest at home. We have asked all health centres to keep adequate stock of medicines.”

Similarly, the OPD at Jamshedpur’s biggest state-owned healthcare hub, MGM Hospital, has been getting nearly 400 patients daily, up from the usual 300.

The hospital has 540 beds.

“We have already put in 18 extra beds in the emergency ward due to rise in viral cases,” said MGM Hospital deputy superintendent Dr Nakul Prasad Choudhary.

At Patliputra Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) in Dhanbad, the number of patients with viral infections has almost doubled.

“We usually get 60-70 patients with viral disease but the with the advent of monsoon we are getting over 150-160 patients every day. Majority of the cases nowadays are related to viral infections,” said Dr Sanjay Sinha, the chief of the medicine department at PMCH.

Baleshwar Mahto, a farmer from Gomoh in Dhanbad, had come to PMCH with his 8-year-old Shivam who is suffering from high fever, cough and body pain. “Many children in our locality are suffering from similar symptoms,” Mahto said.

Physicians advised watching what one eats during the monsoons.

“Usually, the humid conditions during monsoon is ideal for growth of viruses and fungi, leading to rise in infections like sore throat, cold, running nose, and skin infections,” said Dr Nirmal Kumar, senior faculty at MGM Hospital. “This apart, due to consumption of open foods and water from unclean sources there are cases of gastrointestinal infections. Due to stagnant water there is growth in mosquito larvae, which also increases viral cases like malaria and dengue.”

Additional reporting by Praduman Choubey