Delhi Health Dept Asks Hospitals to Keep Eye on Co-infections, Wants Ministry Protocol to be Followed
People wait for a Covid-19 test at a railway station in Delhi. (Reuters)
In a letter issued on Monday, the Delhi Health Department has asked all hospitals to watch out for co-infections of Covid-19 with other seasonal diseases. The hospitals have also been directed to implement protocols issued by the Health Ministry in such cases.
“This is the season when cases of dengue, malaria, seasonal influenza are expected to rise. It is important for hospitals and district officials to be aware of co-infections. We have requested officials to follow the Union ministry’s guidelines,” a senior health department official told Indian Express.
Seasonal epidemic-prone diseases may all present as a febrile illness, with symptoms that mimic Covid-19, if there is a co-infection, then apart from febrile illness, there may be constellations of signs and symptoms that may lead to difficulty in diagnosis, the ministry had said.
Reportedly, these seasonal diseases can not only present a diagnostic dilemma but may coexist with coronavirus. The ministry added that this poses challenges in the diagnosis of Covid and has a bearing on clinical management and patient outcomes.
Earlier this month, doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had said that they have been recording several cases of co-infection- dengue and Covid-19- a situation that presents a severe problem for diagnosis and treatment.
Doctors claimed that with fever and cough the predominant symptoms for both diseases, diagnosing both infections has become a challenge. It poses a challenge in treatment as Covid-19 patients are often given anticoagulants to prevent clotting, but the medicine increases the risk of bleeding, which can lead to a shock in dengue patients with low platelet counts.