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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Youth and children top city’s dengue casualties


Mumbai: The aedes mosquito seems to have caused more damage to youngsters this season. Out of the nine Mumbaikars who succumbed to dengue this year—confirmed or otherwise— five were minors, while three were in their early 20s. 
    In some cases dengue appeared to go the swine flu way, as significantly higher number of patients from vulnerable groups like children, pregnant women and people with underlying problems landed up in intensivecareunits. 
    Experts say that though thereis nostudy to proveit yet, it mightbe possiblethattheimmunity system of the young itself may be playing the foe. Doctors admitted the incidence of dengue deaths is much more than what is being reportedin civichospitals. 
    Dr Khusrav Bajan, intensivist at Hinduja Hospital, said the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) is higher among youngsters. "Whenever there is an infection that affects the body, the immunity system gives a very strong response. It releases cytokine mediators, a type of toxins to kill the infection," he said. However, this syndrome may backfire and inflame the normal cells too. "This response is much higher in a teenager's or a youngster's body. Since they release more toxins,it may justleadto multiorgan failure," Dr Bajan said. 
    The BMC meanwhile, has 
not yet made the same conclusions. "There have been 660 casesof dengue reportedin civic hospitals this year so far. Therehavebeen six confirmed deaths, two suspected deaths due to dengue and we are still awaiting post-mortem report of another onetoknowif itis a death due to dengue," said Dr Mangala Gomare. "We have not yetstudied allthecases,but afewof thedeathsseem tohave occurred because of dengue shocksyndrome," shesaid. 
    Dr Om Srivastava, director of infectious diseases department at Jaslok Hospital, said the pattern of dengue presentations have changed. "It is not just the platelets that decrease. White blood cells start to fall and the platelets drop only by the fourth or fifth day now. Also,thetimebetween getting the virus and becoming acutely ill has decreased, leading many patientstotheICU," hesaid.



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