65-year-old suffering from chikungunya dies at Ganga Ram hospital

New Delhi:A 65-year-old man admitted to Ganga Ram Hospital, succumbed to chikungunya on Monday, authorities said, adding that the test for the vector borne disease through RTPCR test for him came positive with an extremely high viral count.

R. Pandey, a resident of Ghaziabad, was shifted to Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi from Yashodra Hospital in Ghaziabad in a deteriorating health condition on September 10.

"The patient was under the monitoring of Pooja Khosla, senior consultant at the medicine department. Though we tried treating him, he succumbed to the complications due to chikungunya on Monday at 4.30 a.m.," said a senior official of the hospital.

According to the official, the patient died of chikungunya with sepsis, a life-threatening illness caused by the body's response to an infection.

"This case was different. In this case the reports have revealed high titre positive, which means the strain of the chikungunya was very strong unlike before," said the official.

The case was reported after All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had witnessed five deaths due to dengue and one from chikungunya since September 1, even as the premier hospital continues to get hundreds of patients suffering from the vector-borne diseases.

"AIIMS has witnessed a total of six deaths due to vector-borne diseases this month. Since September 1, five of the patients have died due to dengue and one from chikungunya," a senior official at AIIMS told IANS on condition of anonymity.

According to the official, the last death was of a 30 year-old man, who tested positive for dengue in the first week of the month. He died on September 9.

"The victim succumbed due to complications from dengue on September 9. He was a resident of east Delhi," said the official.

Last week, over 400 patients tested positive for chikungunya at AIIMS, taking the cases being treated by the hospital alone to nearly 900.

Speaking to IANS, Lalit Dar of AIIMS' Department of Microbiology said: "Cases testing positive for chikungunya are rising. Till now some 885 samples have tested positive for dengue, of which over 400 are new ones in the last two weeks."

However, the civic bodies data shows a lower count. According to the data, the total number of chikungunya cases in Delhi stood at only 560 till September 3, while the total dengue cases were 771. 

Following the rise in vector-borne diseases, which also includes malaria, the Cabinet Secretary has directed the health authorities at the central and state governments and municipal corporation level to increase public awareness, with the aim of preventing the disease and also ensure availability of medicines.

Among those affected by the mosquito-borne diseases are a number of doctors of both central and Delhi government hospitals, which has led to a staff crunch in many departments.

Government-run Safdarjung Hospital officials told IANS that 10-12 senior faculty members have tested positive for chikungunya, while at least 25 junior doctors, including senior and junior residents, are suffering from chikungunya and dengue.