Monsoon brings with it a host of mosquito-borne diseases including dengue, malaria, chikungunya and Zika virus among others. Mosquitoes spreading these diseases breed in stagnant water and therefore, it is of utmost importance to avoid accumulation of water in the vicinity. However, Andhra Pradesh city Amaravathi is witnessing an alarming rate of fever cases related to mosquito-borne diseases.
Heavy rains in the last few weeks have left several drains in Vijayawada and Guntur cities clogged, resulting in stagnation of water which is favourable for mosquitoes to breed in. Unhygienic conditions and rise in mosquitoes are resulting in a higher number of fever cases in parts of the state. According to a ToI report, a rough estimate shows that at least one to two people in each family are suffering from some kind of fever.
A data by the Andhra Pradesh medical and health department reveals that Guntur city topped the list with the maximum number of dengue and malaria cases registered in the last four weeks. But sources to ToI said that the numbers reported by the medical and health department are low and the actual count is believed to be high. In fact, the civic administration in Vijayawada and Guntur districts have been asked to be on high alert after a steep surge in fever cases.
Over 90 percent of the dengue and malaria fever cases have been reported from urban areas of Krishna and Guntur districts. The report mentions that in the third week of August, Guntur city saw a rise of 9 percent in malaria cases. It jumped to 18 percent last week.
Guntur is the only city in Andhra Pradesh that has reported rise in the fever cases last week, the report said.
Meanwhile, poor people of the state are facing the burden of medical bills. Doctors at private hospitals are reportedly prescribing all the suspect cases to undergo expensive tests. A single visit to the hospital is costing anything between Rs 3,000-Rs 4,000 per person. Moreover, doctors are asking all the people with complaints of fever to take the dengue test as they do not want to take any chances.
Sources to ToI said private laboratories attached to the corporate hospitals are reportedly charging Rs 1,500 per test while the same cost around Rs 500-Rs 600 in other laboratories. As mentioned in the report, the hospital managements are insisting patients suffering from fever to undergo all the tests in their own labs for accuracy and thereby, forcing them to shell out more money.
Sources to the daily added that private hospitals are charging Rs 400-Rs 500 for a simple test of platelet count which cost as low as Rs 100 in small hospitals.