In the past two weeks, Mumbai has witnessed a worrying spurt in viral and severe pneumonia cases as nearly 12-15 cases were being treated in the said period. The fact becomes more distressing as some of the patients needed intensive care unit or ventilator support. The rise in viral infections was also confirmed pathologically as several samples of ailing patients tested negative for Covid, swine flu and influenza. However, doctors have linked the viral surge with monsoon, cautioning the citizens to take care.
The entrance of ‘flurona’ into the medical scenario has raised further concerns. Explaining the term ‘flurona’, PD Hinduja National Hospital and MRC consultant respiratory physician Dr Radhika Banka said that co-infection with coronavirus and flu has been commonly termed flurona.
“Definitely, in India, these co-infections are at a higher rate as compared to last year. This could be attributed to the fact that co-infections are being seen more commonly with the omicron strain, which was not the dominant strain at this time last year,” she said, adding that co-infections strike the immunocompromised populace the most.
“We have commonly seen dual infections at our hospital and some of them have even required intubation and ventilation. The most pressing need is to vaccinate our population with Covid and flu vaccines -particularly the elderly and comorbid should be encouraged to vaccinate themselves as vaccination definitely leads to a milder course of illness,” she said.
Speaking about the surge in mixed infections, which are usually rare, a senior doctor from the private-run hospital said, “We are seeing many mixed infections like dengue with malaria, dengue with swine flu, etc. We have seen patients land with complications as they ignore fever and other symptoms.
People with comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension, should be cautious and consult a doctor instead of self-medicating, he underlined. Asserting on the vitality of timely treatment, the medico said that the delay leads to complications like septic shock, brain injury, liver failure, kidney failure; making the treatment a daunting task.