Eight die of complicated form of dengue in Karnataka

Symptoms include low blood pressure, circulatory collapse and multiple organ failure

By Shilpika Rajeshwar
Published: Wednesday 10 July 2013

A ‘non-traditional’ dengue-like disease has claimed the lives of eight people in Karnataka. A total of 10,053 suspected cases have been reported as of July 7, out of which 455 are in Bengaluru city. The disease, dubbed dengue shock syndrome (DSS), results in very low blood pressure, circulatory collapse and multiple organ failure.

Out of 6,671 blood samples collected from people suspected of suffering from the disease, as many as 2,289 (over one-third) tested positive for the virus. Bengaluru city alone accounted for 302 positive cases.

Owing to the drastic rise in number of infected people, the Karnataka government has set in motion a series of measures. To provide infected patients with blood, the authorities have established 86 blood component separation facilities all over the state; most of them are in Bengaluru.

"The nursing and medical staff at government hospitals have been strictly instructed to transfer complicated cases to higher centres of treatment as soon as possible. Since there is no specific treatment or cure for the disease, symptomatic treatment is being provided, " says B N Dhanya Kumar, director of health and family welfare services directorate of Karnataka.

Dengue shock syndrome is a complicated form of the less fatal dengue fever. The symptoms of the disease include high fever, a sharp plunge in blood platelet count and vomiting. Persons showing these symptoms require immediate attention. With a low blood platelet count, blood pressure reduces drastically, leading to organ failure and eventual death. The life threatening dengue is transmitted by female Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the dengue virus.

The blood samples are at present being tested within the state itself. No samples have been sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), as of now, reveals Dhanya Kumar. NIV is India’s nodal agency for investigating epidemics caused by viruses.


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