As the winter season is ready to set foot in the city, fever, cough and cold are the commonest complaints you get these days. And, when all of this is accompanied with a family history of having Tuberculosis (TB), everything seems to be like a clear diagnosis.
That’s what a nine-year-old from Mumbai approached the doctors at Nanavati Multispecialty Hospital with. Fever, dry cough during night followed by vomiting triggered by cough and breathlessness were her major symptoms. Her younger brother had already been treated for TB, which further confused doctors to believe that it was a clear case of TB.
“We wanted to be sure. Hantaviruses are a group of antigenically distinct viruses carried out in rodents and insectivores. In India, it is quite uncommon. We started treating her with TB medicines and further, got more tests done. That’s when we realized that she had Hantavirus. Luckily, due to timely treatment, she is doing fine now,” said Dr Hiren Doshi, director of Neonatal ICU, Nanavati Hospital.
“Hantavirus infection should be suspected in children with hemorrhagic fever with renal and pulmonary manifestations in India,” added Dr Doshi.
The virus can be quite lethal. “The virus, in real terms can be life-threatening. It generally leads to pulmonary ailments that can be very lethal to health. I have personally not seen such virus as yet in this year, but yes, surely in the past I have seen many,” said Dr Vasant Nagvekar, an Infectious disease expert, Global Hospitals.
This case is now published in the latest edition of Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology. Hantavirus has been reported sporadically in Mumbai.