Malaria Now Surfaces with Other Underlying Ailments
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30 July 2010
Standing outside the fever ward of Sion Hospital, the family of 17–year–old Amandeep Singh (name changed), waits in vain for the ward to get slightly empty, so they can meet him peacefully for sometime. Amandeep is still fortunate to have got a bed, many lie on mattresses.
For two days after Amandeep was taken to the hospital, doctors treated him for malaria, as he had tested positive for it. However, on Monday, he was also diagnosed with pneumonia.“When he started getting high fever on July 23, we took him to the hospital. The doctors said he was suffering from malaria. But from Monday, the doctors have also been giving him oxygen and treatment for pneumonia,” said Amandeep’s sister.
A lot of people are falling prey to various other ailments with malaria, say city doctors.“During monsoon, we always see an increase in people suffering from respiratory tract infections. This year, underlying problems are coexisting with malaria,” said chest physician Dr Ashok Mahasur.
TOI lists a few odd cases, wherein some patients, in the course of treatment for malaria, also suffered from other problems. TOI, however, does not say the ailments were caused by malaria.
Paralysis With Falciparum Malaria
In June, TOI reported two rare cases in KEM Hospital, Parel, in which both patients who had come with paralysis of all their four limbs were found to actually be suffering faiciparum malaria. Timely intervention by KEM doctors ensured both got back 60% of the movement in all their limbs.
Malaria infestation with kidney failure
In a paper published in March 2010, Saket R Sanghai & Ira Shah from BJ Wadia Hospital in Parel, reported that a mixture of falciparum and vivax malaria caused acute renal failure. Their patient was an eight–year–old boy. Malaria with spleen rupture
Another complication was reported in 1992, when a team of doctors led by Dr A J Mokashi and R Shirahatti from TN Medical College (Nair Hospital) published a paper on two cases of spontaneous rupture of spleen. One was a 26–year–old man, and another a 58–year–old woman. Both needed splenectomy (removal of spleen). Spleen is where antibodies for the malarial parasite are produced.
Malaria with altered calcium levels
Syed Ahmed Zaki, Preeti Shanbag & Prithi Shenoy, from Sion Hospital, in a paper published in June 2010, said alteration in calcium, phosphate and magnesium metabolism can occur in patients with malaria. They treated a 12–year–old with fever and painful muscle spasm of the left foot. His spasm did not respond to calcium supplements and malarial drugs given intravenously and he needed magnesium supplements.