Hyderabad: The Doctors in the city are mystified as patients with viral fever are being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), a situation that has never happened before.
Most viral and vector-borne disease recovery times have also risen by 2 to 5 days, leading to an increase in hospital visits and antibiotic use to treat viral fevers and hospitalizations.
While experts are unsure of the specific cause of the outbreak, they speculate that it could be due to a different reaction to viruses after a long period of remaining at home and away from viruses, seasonal changes, a drop in overall immunity, or a change in strains.
"Earlier, viral fevers used to last for 1 to 2 days and then people would recover on their own. We used to see patients coming with high grade fever and testing dengue positive, but now these cases are testing negative for dengue and malaria and still not recovering for 4 to 5 days. The recovery is not only slow, but also after recovering they become weak and dehydrated in the case of all kinds of viral fevers, many times requiring admission. Also, influenza and dengue patients are taking longer than earlier to recover. In dengue there is a possibility of a different strain," said Dr Sowmya Bondalpati, consultant general physician at Continental Hospitals, also noted that roughly 30% of cases now necessitate hospitalisation, and antibiotic use in the treatment of viral fevers has grown.
Although doctors believe the recent rains have contributed to an increase in cases, other factors such as an increase in mosquitoes, weather changes, and decreased immunity might also have contributed to the increase in cases over the previous month.
"It is possible that after long periods of staying inside their homes and eating healthy food, now that people are venturing out more, there could be higher exposure to viruses and they have started to respond differently to the viruses. The average recovery time has gone up by 3 to 5 days in cases of viral fevers and dengue fevers," KIMS Cuddles' clinical director of paediatrics and head of paediatric critical care, Dr Parag Shankarrao Dekate, stated.