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Delhi govt tells hospitals to treat dengue patients foremost

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: The Delhi government advisory has asked city hospitals to postpone non-emergency procedures, including surgeries, to admit and treat dengue patients on priority. The order was issued to both government and private hospitals, telling them that no dengue patient should be turned away because of lack of beds.

dengue-2More than 830 dengue cases have been reported this year, 778 of which happened in August alone. Over 6,000 dengue cases were treated in 2010, and the number reported this year has been highest after in the past five years.

“We have told hospitals not to turn away dengue patients even if it means rescheduling all non-emergency procedures, including surgeries,” said Dr. Charan Singh, in-charge of the vector-borne control programme in the Delhi government. “No health institute, government or private, should refuse dengue patients,” he added.

The government has also asked hospitals to stock their blood banks adequately, and private blood banks have been told to provide platelets at nominal rates. To provide dengue patients with better treatment, government hospitals have also opened dengue and fever words.

“During this time, our medicine wards only admit fever and dengue patients. Still, the beds are not enough. We are forced to admit two-three patients per bed, but even that is not sufficient. We have put up temporary beds on stretchers and mattresses to accommodate patients,” said a senior doctor at Safdarjung Hospital. Doctors said most patients were put on saline drips and their platelet count was monitored. “Treatment is based on symptoms. But we have to admit patients who show signs of their platelet count dropping or those with very high fever and other complications. Patients can visit private hospitals daily and get their platelet count checked, but given the socio-economic profile of our patients, that is not possible,” said the doctor.

However, doctors in private hospitals have a different take saying that, considering the symptoms are mild in comparison to previous years, so the patient need not be admitted.

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20 Genes That Can Predict Severity of Dengue Identified

The genes could serve as a basis for a targeted therapy for dengue, Einav said - but that's far on the horizon

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Researchers, including one of an Indian-origin, have identified 20 genes that can predict an individual’s likelihood of developing a severe form of dengue fever with about 80 per cent accuracy.

The team from Standford University in the US, identified a gene-expression pattern that predicts which people infected with dengue — a mosquito-borne virus that can cause fever and joint pain, among other symptoms — are at highest risk for developing a severe form of the illness.

Every year, between 200 million and 400 million people in tropical and subtropical regions of the world contract dengue fever, and about 500,000 of those cases are fatal.

For the most part, people with the disease recover after receiving some fluids and a few days’ rest, said Purvesh Khatri, Associate Professor at the varsity.

“But there’s a smaller subset of patients who get severe dengue, and right now we don’t know how to tell the difference,” Khatri said.

Aedes
Dengue is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito that typically attacks during day time. Pixabay

Anywhere from 5 to 20 per cent of dengue cases will advance to severe.

Currently, to diagnose severe dengue the doctors wait to observe specific symptoms and results of laboratory tests that typically emerge in the late stages of the disease.

“These practices are not nearly sensitive or accurate enough, and some patients end up admitted to the hospital unnecessarily, while others are discharged prematurely,” said Shirit Einav, Associate Professor.

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The new set of genes, reported in the Cell Reports journal, can help identify predictive biomarkers that can help doctors reliably gauge the likelihood of severe dengue in patients who are newly symptomatic and use that information to provide more accurate care to help guide therapeutic clinical studies and, in the future, to guide treatment decisions.

The genes could serve as a basis for a targeted therapy for dengue, Einav said – but that’s far on the horizon. (IANS)