First chikungunya death in Pune

82-Yr-Old Karvenagar Man Also Had Co-Morbid Conditions Like Hypertension
An 83-year-old man from Karvenagar died of chikungunya at a city hospital, in what could be the first fatality from the vector-borne disease here. The disease is generally considered non-fatal.The death clearly shows that beyond the well-described joint pains (arthralgia), the virus can become lifethreatening in some cases.The man has tested positive for the chikungunya virus.

The disease can lead to severe and potentially deadly encephalitis or brain infection in some patients, particularly infants and people older than 65, medical experts said. “The man’s polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test as well as antibody test were positive for the chikungunya virus. Besides, his cerebro-spine fluid (CSF) had also tested positive for the disease, indicating menigo-encephalitis caused by chikungunya which eventually led to his death,“ said a doctor from Sahyadri hospital, Deccan branch, where the man succumbed to the disease on October 9. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a clear, colourless body fluid found in the brain and spine.

The man developed symp toms, including fever with chills, urine retention and altered sensorium, on September 29. He was admitted to the Sahyadri hospital on September 28.

“He was drowsy and had breathlessness at the time of the admission. He was put on ventilator after his condition deteriorated. During the entire course of his hospitalisation, the man remained neurologically the same -drowsy and wincing to pain,“ the doctor said. Due to these complica tions, he suffered a cardiac arrest and despite administering cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), he could not be revived. “He was declared dead at 10.55am on October 9. The cause of his death was chikungunya encephalitis. We have communicated the death to the health department of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC),“ administration of Sahyadri hospital confirmed. The man also had other co-morbid conditions, including Parkinson disease, hy pertension and chronic kidney disease.

S T Pardeshi, chief of the health department at Pune Municipal Corporation, said, “There is a Death Audit Committee at the state level which confirms the cause of death after evaluating all the medical history and the course of treatment. Till then, we cannot lable it a death caused by chikungunya encephalitis.“

When contacted, senior public health expert Subhas Salunkhe said, “Death in chikungunya, although docu mented, is extremely rare.Hence, I will personally look into this case if treating doctors have labelled chikungunya encephalitis as the cause of death. The case needs to be thoroughly investigated and audited before declaring it a death caused by chikungunya.“ Salunkhe, who is the pre sident of the recently formed state government’s technical committee on communicable diseases, is the former director general of public health services of Maharashtra.

Source : TOI

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