Dr. Prashant Ved (Emergency Medicine) needs a second opinion on this medical case.
DOUBLE DANGER: Is there a link between COVID-19 and DENGUE
City doctors have encountered a handful of curious cases where Covid-19 patients have walked in with dengue-positive reports. With the monsoon expected in 10 days, the COVID-Dengue combination — both are viral diseases— could prove a tough challenge for doctors.
A Physician said he has seen three patients who came with dengue-positive reports but exhibited classic signs of Covid-19.
Among them was an 82-year-old man, who had pneumonia — a classic COVID sign — but was admitted for dengue.
The patient’s didn’t have dengue but was suffering from COVID. The man had bilateral pneumonia and was breathless, but had no dengue symptoms.
In addition to the man’s RT PCR and CT scan confirmed Covid-19. The other two patients too didn’t have any dengue symptoms, such as dropping platelets, typical retro-orbital pain or a splitting headache. According to doctors, there could be a “serological lap” between the two viral diseases, but barring a few signs of fever and headache, it shouldn’t be very challenging to differentiate. Dengue patients wouldn’t have a sore throat or respiratory difficulty as main complaint.
A Lancet report published in March states that dengue and Covid-19 are difficult to distinguish because of their “shared clinical and laboratory features”.
The report enumerated an example wherein two patients in Singapore with false-positive results from rapid serological testing for dengue were later confirmed to have severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection - the causative virus of Covid-19.
The research further emphasised the possibility of serious health implications on failing to determine Covid-19 positive case because of a positive dengue rapid test result.
NOTE: It is important to recognise the false-positive dengue serology results (with different commercially available assays) in patients with Covid-19. We emphasise the urgent need for rapid, sensitive, and accessible diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2, which need to be highly accurate to protect public health.