Contrary to reports putting the number of cases pertaining to chikungunya in the national capital at 432, a fresh report has now pegged the number at more than double the earlier number – over 1,000.
An inquiry by the IANS showed that seven big hospitals of Delhi have reported more than 1,000 cases of chickungunya as against earlier evaluation of 432 cases across three civic bodies.
As per hospital sources, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) alone recorded 391 cases till August 20, followed by Safdarjung Hospital (246), Apollo Hospital (almost 350), Lok Nayak Hospital (23), Hindu Rao Hospital (28), Kasturba Hospital (11) and the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital (GTBH) has registered three confirmed cases.
With this, the total number of confirmed chikungunya cases in just these seven hospitals comes to 1,052.
The disease is caused by the bite of the mosquito Aedes aegypti. A typical chikungunya patient manifests high-grade fever, severe joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.
In order to prevent chikungunya from spreading, people should not allow water stagnation, protect themselves from mosquito bites, keep their surroundings clean, dispose off unnecessary items such as old tyres, flower pots and cans, use mosquito repellents or nets and keep their own bodies well covered, experts said.
"We have recorded 246 confirmed chigungunya cases so far. The number of suspected cases are more than 900," A.K. Rai, the Medical Superintendent of the Safdarjung Hospital, told IANS.
Lalit Dar, Professor (microbiology) at AIIMS, said: "In the last one week, we have received at least 200 confirmed cases of chikungunya."
In private hospitals like Apollo too there have been a surge of patients diagnosed with chikungunya with already 350 confirmed cases.
"The situation is really bad. Out of 10-12 patients who come with fever each day, at least 5-7 are diagnosed with chikungunya. It is also because of the rain and waterlogging. It is going to persist till the rain stops," Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant (internal medicine) at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, told IANS.
Rommel Tickoo, Senior Consultant (internal medicine) at Max Hospital-Saket, said: "Majority of the suspected cases of chikungunya are positive. At least 80 per cent of the patients who come with high-grade fever tested positive for chikungunya. This is going to persist till October."
At Delhi government's Lok Nayak Hospital, though the total number of confirmed chikungunya cases was reported to be 23, the suspected cases are said to be a lot more.
"We have 23 confirmed chikungunya cases but the numbers could actually be more because a lot of them (patients) don't go for tests. Suspected patients coming with fever each day is 600-700," J.C. Passey, Medical Director of Lok Nayak Hospital, told IANS.