Monsoon-related ailments are picking up in the city amid Coronavirus outbreak. There is a sudden spurt in malaria cases compared to the last 10 years, and around 40 patients have been tackled successfully via teleconsultations over a month. No deaths have been recorded so far. Already stretched by a shortage of medics and critical care beds, the situation might turn uglier, as cases of malaria may soar in the coming months.
Monsoon can bring life to a standstill with flooding and water-logging, and invite vector-borne and water-borne diseases. Doctors are already grappling with surging Coronavirus infections; the onset of the annual monsoon poses a serious threat of malaria as the hospitals are overrunning. Many patients suffering from malaria are opting for teleconsultations amid lockdown.
Dr. Manjusha Agarwal, Internal Medicine Expert Global Hospital, Mumbai said “A 62-year-old retired Patient Mr. Shah From Parel had a history of fever and his platelet count was 17,000 which was very low. To top it all, his sugar was 500 mg/dl. But, due to Coronavirus, the patient couldn’t get a bed. The patient was managed at home with oral medications by teleconsultation. Another patient a 45-year-old housewife Ms. Geeta from Dadar with a hemoglobin of 6 and was also having other complications such as Jaundice, Splenic Infarct. Fortunately, she got a bed and appropriate treatment. Approximately 7 -8 Patients have even landed up in the ICU because of malaria.
Dr. Agarwal added, “Malaria can be life-threatening in some individuals caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, and is very common now. There is a sudden spurt in malaria cases compared to the last 10 years and around 40 patients have been tackled successfully via teleconsultations over a month. Daily 1 or 2 patients are diagnosed with Malaria if 8-10 are detected with COVID. After COVID, if the patient gets a fever then he/she is suspected to be having Malaria. The plausible reasons for malaria could be neglecting construction sites during lockdown that may have become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, wading through the floodwater, and due to stagnated water at home or around the area. But, owing to COVID, there is a shortage of beds in the hospitals.”
It is the need of the hour to spray insecticides to kill mosquito larvae in the mosquito breeding spots in order to prevent mosquito-borne diseases. “Prophylaxis (a medication used to prevent a disease from occurring) is available. Hence, the patients who get repeated malaria or dengue should contact the doctor,” said Dr. Agarwal.
Patient, Mr. Shah says, “Due to COVID-19 fear, it’s difficult to handle the situation. Thanks to the cutting-edge technology and doctors treating via telecommunication, it is now possible to get timely treatment. We are thankful to the doctors who are giving us prompt treatment and correct guidance.”