New Delhi: The Capital has seen 300 cases of dengue in just the past eight days, but the official numbers don't really seem to add up. Officially, authorities have confirmed 913 cases of dengue in the Capital so far in 2009. In 2008, 1,070 dengue cases and two deaths were reported in the Capital.
However, if the load on private hospitals in the Capital and NCR is anything to go by, the situation is much more grim. Perhaps, the situation is even approaching an epidemic.
At Noida, UP's Kailash Hospital there are seven patients to a bed. The hospital has treated around 450 patients. Hospitals are also struggling with an acute shortage of platelets, which are essential for treatment.
"Platelet shortage is bound to happen. The patient burden has suddenly increased, we can't store platelets for long. We had to create special wards for dengue, we have converted our lecture halls into dengue wards," said Chairman, Kailash Hospital, Dr Mahesh Sharma.
Temperatures in the Capital over the past month have been conducive for mosquito breeding. So the number of patients are multiplying. 300 cases have been reported in just the past eight days. And patients are stuck for space at leading hospitals.
"Do ghante wait kara fir bed mila, (We waited for two hours and then were given a bed)," said the mother fo a patient.
"Number of patients is high, major load in the last 3-4 weeks to the extent that we don't find beds. Our capacity is of 110 beds, we have had to create extra beds. Till Wednesday we were running 124 beds," said Critical Care Fortis' Hemant Tewari.
A random survey of five prominent hospitals in Delhi shows each hospital has registered above 250 cases so far. The total number at these five is around 1400 dengue patients, well above the MCD's official number of 913.
While Apollo Hospital has reported 270 cases, 270 patients have turned up at Rockland Hospital. Fortis has treated 335 dengue cases and Batra 275 cases.
The only good news is that the number of cases are expected to fall, with winter setting in.
Myth vs Fact
Myth: Everyone who gets dengue dies.
Fact:Most cases are mild, there is a 1 per cent fatality rate.
Myth: Dengue spreads from person to person.
Fact: It's not contagious. Dengue spreads only through the bite of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
Myth: Water stored in my bathroom buckets are a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Fact: Aedes mosquito breeds in stagnant water stored for days.