‘Dengue rush’ in Kolkata hospitals
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Government-run hospitals in the city are swamped with patients with high fever and other dengue-like symptoms amid fears of an outbreak of the vector-borne disease. Private hospitals, on the other hand, are packed to capacity and are refusing to admit any more patients with symptom of fever.
At Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, most of the patients in the acute ward (where various types of fevers are treated) have been diagnosed with dengue or are under observation with related symptoms. With only 48-odd beds at the ward, the current number of 100 patients has the doctors, nurses and medical students in a tizzy.
"Last week, a fever clinic was started in the outdoor department. When a patient comes with these symptoms, the fever clinic sends them here. This time there are many suspected dengue cases. We are being forced to accommodate them on the floor," a resident postgraduate trainee, who was on duty at the ward located on the first floor of the medical college, said.
An unpleasant odour suffused the rooms and corridors clogged with patients and their relatives. But the promise of affordable treatment had drawn many patients here instead of the more sanitised private nursing homes.
One patient with dengue-like symptoms, Rekha Mallik, was lying in the corridor. "She had high fever for five days. A couple of days back, external bleeding started. So we brought her here," Sunil, Rekha's husband, a resident of Jadavpur, said.
The second floor houses patients who are transferred after getting initial treatment in the acute ward. This section, which has 158 beds, has some dengue patients who are recovering.
Medical superintendent Dr Asim K. Ghosh could not specify the number of patients admitted with dengue and related symptoms. He said the fever clinic, which was started last Monday on a West Bengal government initiative, is helping the staff as well as the patients".
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