Delhi hospitals witness spike in typhoid, respiratory illness; here's what expert said
According to the Senior Consultant Internal Medicine at Fortis Hospital, Dr Manoj Sharma, "Dengue fever, which has become a seasonal burden, is a common ailment among OPD patients. In addition, we are seeing typhoid fever, acute gastroenteritis, viral hepatitis, upper respiratory infections, swine flu, and the occasional Covid."
Due to the unseasonal rains and weather changes, Delhi hospitals are seeing an increase in patients with upper respiratory tract infections, typhoid, and gastroenteritis.
According to doctors, the number of such cases has nearly doubled due to the pandemic's increased awareness of such infections.
"Nowadays, we receive more than 20 patients daily in the OPD who have upper respiratory tract infections, undetected protracted fevers, typhoid, cases of swine flu, allergies, pneumonia, and dengue," said Dr Bhagwan Mantri, Moolchand Hospital's consultant pulmonologist and critical care specialist.
"Previously, there were less than ten such patients per day, but we are currently witnessing an increase," he explained.
Infections occur in all age groups, but respiratory tract infections in the elderly take on a severe form, he added.
According to experts, every year, there is an increase in infectious diseases following the monsoon season.
However, unlike in previous years, some hospitals are seeing increased scrub typhus and leptospirosis cases.
"Dengue fever, which has become a seasonal burden, is a common ailment among OPD patients. In addition, we are seeing typhoid fever, acute gastroenteritis, viral hepatitis, upper respiratory infections, swine flu, and the occasional Covid," Dr Manoj Sharma, Senior Consultant Internal Medicine at Fortis Hospital Vasant Kunj, explained.
"This year, we're seeing more cases of scrub typhus and leptospirosis; the numbers aren't huge, but they're higher than in previous years," he said.
Scrub typhus is an infectious disease caused by the mite-borne bacterium Orientia tsutsugamushi. Chigger mites, the larval stage of mites, transmit the disease to humans from animals such as rats, squirrels, and rabbits. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection spread by rat and cattle urine or excreta.
According to Dr SCL Gupta, Medical Director at Batra Hospital, unseasonal rains and sudden weather changes could cause an increase in cases.
"Upper respiratory tract infections are common in children aged seven to eight, according to our hospital. Fever, shortness of breath, coughing, and uneasiness are among the symptoms," Gupta stated.
Mantri agreed with Gupta, claiming that unseasonal rains in September could have been the catalyst for this.
"Previously, the illnesses would appear in July and August, but now with the rains in September, the timing of emergence of these illnesses has also shifted to September," Manti said, adding that a spike in such cases was not seen when Covid-19 was at its peak.
Doctors advise people to wear masks because they protect not only against Covid-19 but also against other viruses that spread through the air.
"If you have a fever for more than 48 hours, see a doctor. Fever, if not treated properly and promptly, can lead to complications," Mantri advised
The senior doctor also stated that due to Covid-19, people have begun to take respiratory infections seriously.
"People seek medical assistance if they suffer breathing difficulty since there is still some dread associated with Covid. Physicians may also refer patients with respiratory illnesses to pulmonologists," he concluded.
(With inputs from PTI)