NEW DELHI: Delhi is in the grip of viral illnesses. Doctors say that almost every second patient visiting them with febrile illness suffers from common cold, fever and cough caused by viruses. Though self-limiting, these diseases tend to cause serious problems among high-risk individuals, including infants and elderly people.
According to Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, senior director of internal medicine at Max Hospital Saket, they are seeing an exceptionally high number of elderly people who have pneumonia caused by viruses. “Some of them have secondary bacterial infections too.”
According to Dr Budhiraja, the preventive vaccinations for seasonal flu aren’t totally effective this year. “Many patients are getting viral illnesses in spite of preventive vaccination.”
Incidence of swine flu is also being reported. “We have come across sporadic cases of swine flu. One person who was referred from another state succumbed to the disease at our hospital this year,” Dr Arup Basu, senior chest physician at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said.
One person has died and 22 others have been found positive for swine flu in Delhi this year, as on February 18.
Dr R K Singhal, head of the internal medicine department at BLK Super Speciality Hospital, said change of season is responsible for high incidence of viral infection. “The best way to avoid infections is to eat healthy and stay away from infected people,” he said.
The latest report by the corporations has confirmed nine cases of dengue in Delhi this year, indicating early spread of the virus carrying the vector-borne disease in the capital. Of the cases reported till March 3, six were recorded in January and three in February. According to the report, “Two cases of malaria and three cases of chikungunya, both in February, have been reported, while in January, none case was found.”