Some hospitals have seen a marginal drop in the number of admissions with upper respiratory tract infection, pneumonia and breathing distress triggered by viral infections but it could take another fortnight for the situation to normalize, believe doctors.
Around half of the samples tested at Peerless Hospital between January 1 and March 5 have been the cases of influenza. Around 80% of these patients were adults, according to Peerless microbiologist Bhaskar Narayan Chowdhury. "We have tested 132 samples, out of which 69 were influenza cases," said Chowdhury.
The rate of infection and the potency of the viruses in circulation this time were unusually high, according to medical director of pharma company Hetero Group Subhadeep Sinha. "After a Covid-induced two-year lull, we have seen a return of a whole gamut of viruses, including influenza and adenovirus. The number of cases has gone down marginally but since the caseload was very high, it will take time for the numbers to slide," said Sinha.
AMRI Hospitals still have around 120 respiratory illness patients across its three units, apart from around 50 children at the paediatric unit at Mukundapur. "There has been a marginal slide in number but patients are still coming in," said AMRI CEO Rupak Barua.
Woodlands Hospital has seen a rise in daily admission with respiratory infection, from four in the last week of February to almost six patients now. "With Kolkata's maximum temperature in the mid-30s and air quality index improving, respiratory infections should have reduced by now but that is not happening so far this year," said Rupali Basu, managing director & CEO, Woodlands Multispeciality Hospital. Though severe respiratory cases are being reported among adults, the caseload has started sliding, said CMRI Hospital pulmonology director, Raja Dhar.