Even as the second Covid wave has started showing a declining trend, children in the national capital face the threat of other types of viral fever, including what is commonly being called “mysterious fever” but identified as scrub typhus.
One kid in premier children’s hospital, the Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalya has tested positive for this.
The hospital’s Medical Director, Dr B.L. Sherwal told IANS that they are observing a surge of patients this time. Noting that viral fever is common during September and October every year, he said that they generally examine 500-600 patients in the OPD every day, but now, over 1,800 patients are visiting the hospital on daily basis.
“The maximum number of cases are coming with viral flu. However, dengue cases are also on an increased trends compared to August,” he said.
Sherwal said that one child with serious scrub typhus fever has been reported in the OPD. Asked about any link with Firozabad (UP) cases where many children died of fever, he said that they don’t see any connection as dengue is a local phenomenon and the mosquito that spreads it cannot fly over a long distance.
The Chacha Nehru hospital has total 220 beds including 32 ICU beds which is completely packed with patients suffering such fever. An average of 50 to 60 children are being admitted in the hospital daily with dengue, viral and other types of fever.
Paediatric doctor at the hospital, Dr Mamta Jajoo, also said that their ICU is full this time with patients and on a daily basis, they see almost 2,000 patients in the OPD.
However, she added that not all patients need admission. “Around 50 are being admitted on daily basis and out of that, very few need ICU care”.
“Like Covid, it is also a viral infection so all Covid protocols should be followed. Wash your kids hand frequently and use mask and avoid going in crowed places,” she said.
About the reason behind sudden surge of fever, Jajoo said: “Scientifically nothing can be said at this stage but probably children were confined to homes during the lockdown, thereby leading to the weak immune system and now they are getting exposure outside which possibly is reason for the fever.”
Senior Consultant and Paediatrician, Dr Sarita Sharma says this is a seasonal flu, caused by a virus affecting the respiratory tract like RSV and influenza. “However, this is a post-monsoon season so other viral illnesses are also on the rise like dengue, gastroenteritis, typhoid, hepatitis causing diagnostic dilemmas”.
She noted that there is no need to panic but it is advised to remain in touch with doctors so that timely intervention can be done, if required.