While all eyes are on Covid-19, Severe Acute respiratory illness (SARI) has affected and killed more patients in Nagpur than novel coronavirus. At least since March 11 (a day on which first Covid-19 positive case was found in city) to May 22, SARI has infected 503 patients in the city against 408 of Covid-19. While Covid-19 deaths are 7 in the city so far, SARI deaths are at 16.
More worrisome about SARI is that it kills patients of all age groups unlike Covid-19 which is more dangerous for elderly people. In the last two months, nine children aged between 0-12 years were admitted to the GMCH pediatric ward. Out of them, one kid died and seven got recovered. One is still undergoing treatment. SARI patients who have been admitted at the GMCH are of all age groups — right from infants to senior citizens.
A fearful fact is that SARI patients are vulnerable to get infected with the coronavirus. Due to this, all SARI patients must undergo the Covid-19 test. In Nagpur, seven SARI patients have been tested Covid-19 positive so far.
SARI and Covid-19 comparative picture is similar all over Vidarbha. Between March 11 and May 21 — Covid-19 cases reached from 1 to 1,110 while SARI cases are 1,083 in Vidarbha. Out of 43 Covid-19 deaths in the Vidarbha region, 10 were SARI patients who turned Covid-19 positive eventually. Excluding SARI patients who died of Covid-19, the other 27 deaths have been reported in Vidarbha due to SARI.
As per present guidelines, all hospitalized patients with SARI symptoms like fever and cough and or shortness of breath are screened for Covid-19. All SARI cases in Covid, non-Covid, and private hospitals need to be isolated. As per ICMR, 1.8% of total SARI patients test positive for COVID-19. Positivity is higher among males and patients aged above 50 years.
(With inputs from timesofindia)