Millennium Post

Weak immune system in infants make them more susceptible to vector-borne diseases: Doctors

Ten-year-old Arif’s Eid celebrations will not be an ideal one for him as well as for his family this time. With severe pain in his abdomen, high fever, loss of appetite and feeling nausea, he has been inspected by the doctor who has prescribed him certain medicines and asked him to visit the OPD to conduct tests to check whether he has dengue or chikungunya.

Speaking to Millennium Post, the doctor said there are chances that the boy may be having one of the two diseases. Arif is just one example out of hundreds who are presently visiting Safdarjung’s fever clinic for paediatrics that has been set up for infants from 1-12 years. 

As Delhi reels under the crisis of increasing cases of dengue, chikungunya and the killer viral, infants of the city seem to be facing the most severe condition as in most cases their immune system is not fully developed which makes them susceptible to more complicated ailments. Not only at Safdarjung but at AIIMS, Lok Nayak Hospital, Hindu Rao too there is a huge rush of infant patients suffering from dengue, chikungunya and viral. 

Most of the doctors from these hospitals say that on an average there are around 100 infant patients who are surveyed daily at the fever clinics.  What is worse is that there is a huge number of cases of infants who are just a year old and are contracting the virus-borne ailments and are at times referred to the casualty department.

Speaking of the treatment procedures for the infants,  a paediatrician at Safdarjung hospital highlighted: “Normally, the treatment procedures remain the same as for other dengue, chikungunya affected patients but there is a greater challenge of treating the infants who are less than a year.”

Highlighting the symptoms, the doctor said: “If there is recurring fever, pain in the abdomen, loss of appetite, rashes on the body and giddiness, the situation of the infant is not bright.”

At the emergency ward for paediatrics in Safdarjung, a senior doctor mentioned that about 50 per cent of the emergency cases seem to be virus affected ones.

At Lok Nayak hospital too the doctor highlighted that there have been cases where the infants, because of the complications, have been admitted for around five days under observation.

Citing the rising number of cases of virus-borne ailments in infants, Dr A K Rai, Medical Superintendent, Safdarjung Hospital added: “Today, most of the infants are possessing a weak immune system which makes them susceptible to not only virus-borne diseases but also other forms of deadly diseases.”

In highlighting that a lot of caution and precaution must be taken after the infant recovers from the virus-borne ailment, Dr M K Daga, Director, Professor, Medicine department at Maulana Azad Medical College said: “Once affected with microbial diseases there are chances that next time too you may get affected by it and therefore, utmost care needs to be taken.”
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