Dengue-malaria double infection poses new challenge for Kolkata doctors | Kolkata News


KOLKATA: At a time when the number of dengue patients is rising at a scary pace, doctors across the city have also started coming across cases of dual dengue and malaria infection, which they say, can be quite a challenge to manage. While the number is not yet alarming, quite a few such cases have been detected over the past two weeks.
“Only a handful of patients have so far been detected with dual infection,” confirmed a a health official but added that “no death has so far been reported” in such cases.
For instance, a 32-year-old south Kolkata resident who recently visited a private hospital off EM Bypass with high-grade fever and low platelet count was on testing found positive for both dengue and malaria.
Professor of medicine Partha Sarathi Karmakar explained that while dengue patients run the risk of platelet drop in more than 50% of cases, malaria too can lead to thrombocytopenia, increasing the risk of a drastic drop in platelet count.
“A person can get infected by both malaria and dengue if he or she is bitten by both aedes aegypti and anopheles mosquito. We have come across a few such cases but it is not very common,” he said.
Karmakar added that a patient with double infection is at extra risk and demands intense monitoring. “We came across a patient who had multi-system involvement with significant thrombocytopenia and was found to have both dengue and malaria infections. We, however, managed the patient successfully and sent him home,” he said.
‘Dual infections can prolong symptoms’
Quite a few patients in the city have been detected with dual dengue and malaria infection this season. According to entomologists, anopheles mosquitoes that carry the malaria vector mostly breed in dirty stagnant water like in an open drain while aedes aegpti, which causes dengue, prefers breeding in clean stagnant water. Hence, both can breed in the same locality.
“Even if a dual malaria-dengue infection does not turn severe, it can prolong the symptoms needing longer hospital care. We have had a couple of such patients and luckily we could send them home after conservative treatment without any complications,” said medicine and critical care head at RN Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences Sauren Panja.
“We have not come across dual dengue-malaria infection but have come across cases of co-infection of dengue and scrub typhus, dengue and leptospira, which escalates that impact on the liver,” said CMRI critical care specialist Anirban Chattopadhyay.





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