HomeHealthCovid-19 or dengue: how to identify from symptoms?

Covid-19 or dengue: how to identify from symptoms?

As dengue cases increase in the national capital, many people with the viral infection are showing symptoms similar to COVID-19. This creates great confusion for both patients and doctors about the exact diagnosis.

With the onset of monsoons, the cases of vector-borne diseases increase phenomenally. The mosquito that is a carrier of this disease finds a favorable situation in residential areas to breed in stable water. Therefore, cases are usually high between July and November, sometimes even in December.

What are the overlapping symptoms of COVID and dengue?

Symptoms of Dengue include a high fever, headache, skin rash, and muscle and joint pain, much like that of a COVID-19 infection. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, muscle or body aches, fatigue, and headache. In such cases, it becomes difficult for the doctors to find out whether the person is COVID positive or not.

“Covid cases are now decreasing, but the virus is still there. I still see Covid cases in my OPD. In the past 3-4 days, two cases were detected in OPD and one later in an ICU. Average dengue fever- infection is currently on the rise,” said Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant at Apollo Hospitals.

“There are a few overlapping symptoms when it comes to both dengue and Covid, such as fever, body aches and headaches, and in such cases the diagnosis can’t be so black and white. That’s why we write both Covid and dengue tests to determine the exact infection. In some cases, even malaria and typhoid tests are done,” said Dr Suranjit Chatterjee.

How do you know if it is COVID or dengue?

There is a snag for doctors between the lines of the symptoms reported by patients. dr. Suranjit Chatterjee says that if a person experiences more sore throat and cough without a high fever, there is a chance that they have contracted the COVID-19 virus.

In cases where doctors can differentiate by symptoms, they do not prescribe a dengue test to the patient.

In recent days, government doctors, as well as private hospitals, have observed a spike in dengue patient attendance at OPDs. According to doctors, most of them complain of fever, cough, sore throat and body aches or headaches and sometimes both.

The national capital’s largest hospital, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital, which is also the city’s main COVID 19 facility, is also reporting cases of dengue. Most patients are admitted after platelet counts fall below the normal range.

Dengue fever can cause a drop in white blood cell and platelet counts. In the body of a healthy person, the platelet count generally remains between 1.5 and 4 lacs. However, in the case of dengue patients, the number can drop to 20,000 to 40,000.

“Yes, increasing cases of dengue now make diagnosis difficult. Previously, we would analyze symptoms and prescribe a Covid test if they had a fever or other similar symptoms. Now not only patients, but even doctors are confused about the exact condition because of their overlapping symptoms,” a senior doctor at the hospital told PTI.

According to data from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), about 520 cases of dengue have been reported in Delhi as of September 21. Of these 520 cases, 281 were reported in September alone. In addition, there was also an increase in the number of cases of other diseases. The city reported 106 cases of malaria and 20 cases of chikungunya during the same period. One of the possible reasons for the peak in these cases is the incessant rainfall in the city.

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