THD NewsDesk, Kolkata: Private laboratories across the city are now dealing with the woe of both the Covid-19 pandemic and dengue. With the ongoing monsoon, the cases of scrub typhus are expected to spike. The months of September and November have witnessed the crest of diseases and public health concerns in India.
The COVID-19 cases have abated, however, there is spurge in dengue and scrub typhus cases throughout the country. The State Health Department has initiated a campaign for Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT). Bhaskar Narayan Chaudhary, Microbiologist at Peerless Hospital said,
“We would test 300 to 350 Covid samples daily even two weeks ago. The number has now come down to about 200 samples a day. On the other hand, the samples for seasonal diseases, like dengue, scrub typhus, and typhoid fever, are rising.”
Private labs are witnessing a hike in dengue samples since the onset of the month of August. 10 cases on average, are being reported for typhus, whereas 20-25 cases are being reported for dengue daily.
Prabhash Prasun Giri, Pediatric Intensivist at the Institute of Child Health (ICH) commented on the concern by saying “COVID is not a threat to children generally. But they are more vulnerable to ailments like dengue, scrub, and typhoid that need timely detection and treatment. Along with COVID, due importance should be given to mosquito-control measures.”
A hospital in Park Circus in Kolkata allegedly has five children admitted for dengue in the general ward. Another adolescent from central Kolkata is reported to be on ventilation. Sumon Poddar, ICH Assistant Professor said, “Dengue cases will peak post-monsoon. We are getting more cases of diseases like scrub typhus from areas like New Alipore.”
The health department noticed a decline in COVID cases as RATS’s were being conducted widely. Officials averred with all the measures in check, the disease is not spreading alarmingly. “These private labs conduct COVID tests by RT-PCR, TRUENAT, or CBNAT procedures as they are not permitted to use RAT,” a health official said.
A microbiologist at a private hospital in Salt Lake articulated, “The silver lining, however, is that the samples for dengue tests are fewer than what we used to get around this time earlier.”
It has surfaced as a relief that the dengue cases are not soaring to create a concerning alarm at the moment. However, as per the expert advice, it is only preferred that precautions be initiated to further curb any upsurges.