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Dengue, malaria, Covid co-infection dangerous but treatable: Experts

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New Delhi, Aug 27: Several hospitals across the country are witnessing a spike in co-infections, that is, catching Covid together with dengue or malaria. While this is dangerous and can turn fatal, it is treatable if intervention is timely, said health experts on Friday.

Dengue or malaria are vector-borne diseases spread through mosquito bites and they rise during the monsoon season. Covid, on the other hand, is caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus and transmitted mainly by droplets produced as a result of coughing or sneezing of an infected person.

“We have picked up co-infection of dengue/Covid, malaria/Covid and treated it successfully. Delayed diagnosis of co-infection with dengue/malaria and Covid can result in serious patient complications with poor outcomes. Dengue fever – like all viral fevers – can transiently weaken your immune system, hence adequate rest and good food intake are essential in recovery,” Dr Manjusha Agarwal, senior consultant and physician at Global Hospital Mumbai, told IANS.

“The management when both the disease co-exist shall be conventional management of Covid as per protocol with antiviral steroids (when indicated), oxygen and adequate hydration/nutrition. But considering the low platelet count such a patient with both the diseases should not receive any blood thinning agent as the platelet counts are already low,” added Dr Amitabh Parti, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.

A health advisory has been issued in Noida asking people to be careful about the risk of getting co-infected with Covid and the vector-borne diseases, media reports have cited.

The advisory comes after several cases of viral infections and deaths have been reported from Mathura, Mainpuri, and Firozabad districts of Uttar Pradesh in the last few weeks. Similar reports of infections have also come from Maharashtra and Telangana.

Since symptoms of both the disease groups tend to overlap, it becomes hard to identify it. As per experts, even the lab reports look similar. The investigation in both the ailments will show a drop in white cell count, however, in Covid, there is a fall in lymphocytes count whereas in dengue, there is a significant drop in platelet level count.

“Co-infection of dengue and Covid can occur and can be associated with severe disease and fatal outcome. These two illnesses have common symptoms like fever, cough, cold, body ache, headache and myalgia, and loose motion and backache,” Agarwal said.

“Even, many lab parameters are similar – like normal or low white blood cell count, low platelets and raised liver enzymes. Hence it is advisable to do RT PCR and Rapid antigen for Covid in all fever patients, a practice which we follow at our hospital,” she added.

Dengue needs serious attention, the experts noted. It can lead to serious problems including dengue haemorrhagic fever, a rare complication of dengue which presents with high fever, bleeding from the nose and gums, damage to lymph and blood vessels, liver enlargement, and failure of the circulatory system.

“The symptoms may result in excessive bleeding, shock, and death called dengue shock syndrome,” said Dr Mahendra Dadke, HoD, Internal Medicine, Jupiter Hospital, Pune.

Health experts have advised people to take preventive measures to curb the spread of the disease and undergo treatment immediately after symptoms surface.

Prevention from mosquito bites is imperative. Use mosquito repellents, mosquito nets, wear light coloured clothes with long sleeves if going outdoors, and avoid unnecessary water collection that can lead to breeding spots. Municipal corporations should also do robust insecticide spraying even more aggressively now for next three months is important for dengue prevention, the experts noted.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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