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Elderly with chronic diseases vulnerable

Elderly with chronic diseases vulnerable
Amid a raging debate on deaths due to vector-borne diseases, medical experts opine that senior citizens, with a history of chronic diseases, have more chances of getting infected by chikungunya or the deadly dengue.

Panic has gripped the national Capital as mosquito-borne diseases lead to maximum casualties in hospitals such as Apollo, Sir Ganga Ram, AIIMS, Safdarjung and Ram Manohar Lohia. 

As of now, 16 people have succumbed to chikungunya, while over 2,600 have been infected by the mosquito-borne fever this season. Dengue has claimed about 20 lives, so far.

The Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has recorded around half of the total deaths in the Capital due to dengue and chikungunya. The hospital authorities said most of the patients were elderly and were suffering from other complications such as diabetes, blood pressure and heart ailments to name a few.

In Delhi, the first victim of chikungunya was 65-year-old Ramesh Panday, who died at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on September 12. The same day, two more chikungunya-related deaths were reported from the hospital. Both the patients were in their 60s.

Uday Shankar of Dwarka, suffering from chikungunya, was admitted to the hospital on September 11. He died last Monday. Ashok Chauhan (62) of Aligarh, died of chikungunya at the hospital on September 12. Another victim , Prakash Kalra (75), died of chikungunya at the hospital. However, doctors said he was suffering from kidney ailments too, which might have led to his death.

Apollo Hospital has recorded five chikungunya-related deaths. Most of the victims were elderly suffering from co-morbid diseases and complications, which affect recovery.

Mahendra Singh of Ghaziabad, who suffered from various diseases, was diagnosed positive for chikungunya. He had died due to multi-organ failure.

“Of the five patients who died at the Apollo Hospital, four were elderly and had some kind of co-morbid conditions. The deceased include a 31-year-old man from Noida. He died on a day of admission. His death has left all of us puzzled,” said Apollo authorities.

At North Delhi Municipal corporation (North MCD)-run Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, a 22-year-old woman died of chikungunya in the first week of September. Director of the Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, Dr Ajit Goyal, said the woman was suffering from heart complication, which worsened her condition, leading to her death.

However, Health Minister Satyendra Jain has maintained that “in case of chikungunya, there is no requirement for hospitalisation. Patients should focus on home care, hydration and hydrotherapy. This is the most effective way to tackle the disease”. “The Delhi government has set up fever clinics and fever wards in 26 hospitals, 262 dispensaries and 106 Mohalla clinics,” said Jain.


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