The deadly dengue virus is still in the air and it is showing no signs of vanishing until Mumbai's humidity gives way to winter.
With the BMC's official death toll due to dengue rising to four since January this year, doctors have warned citizens not to take the ailment lightly, as a patient's condition could deteriorate within 24 hours of contracting the virus, leading to death.
Thirty two-year-old Tariq Jafri, the resident of a MHADA colony in Malwani, went into dengue shock, and his life was snuffed out a mere five days after he contracted the virus. Jafri was also suffering from the co-morbid conditions of diabetes and hypertension. Patients suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure are at a greater risk of suffering from fatal complications due to dengue.
“Diabetics and high blood pressure patients have damaged kidneys and compromised heart function to begin with. They are at a larger risk of succumbing to the dengue virus. At times, a patient's condition worsens within 24 hours with multiple organ failure and breathlessness due to bleeding in the lungs,” said Dr Sanjay Mehta, an intensivist at a leading private-run hospital.
“We see nearly three to four patients suffering from dengue seeking treatment at the hospital every week. Ten percent of these patients need to be admitted in the ICU. Hardly 1% of them develop dengue shock syndrome. The mortality in this case is high as the condition of the patient deteriorates very rapidly,” Dr Om Shrivastav, consultant (infectious diseases), Jaslok Hospital.
Doctors say that infection from same strains of dengue virus, which had infected the patient at least once before, can lead to dengue shock syndrome. Currently, there are four strains of dengue virus in the city's atmosphere.
“Re-exposure to the same strain of dengue a second time poses a very high risk to the patient. There is a surge in the cases as the hot and humid climate is here to stay till the end of the month. A temperature hovering around 32 degrees makes it an ideal breeding condition for the mosquitoes,” said Dr Mahesh Lombar, general physician at Jupiter Hospital in Thane.