Co-infections with two mosquito borne diseases are being seen in Mumbai, India and doctors are advising practitioners to be aware of this phenomenon.
Although not a frequently seen situation, Dr Khusrav Bajan, intensivist at PD Hinduja Hospital, said: “There is one per cent chances for a dengue patient to get malaria and vice-versa. This year, surprisingly, we are seeing people infected with both these diseases. The numbers are few but this is something we have not seen earlier.”
Both diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes; however, different species of mosquitoes. Dengue and it’s viral cousin, chikungunya is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito vector while the protozoan parasite, Plasmodium, the cause of malaria is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito vector.
“I have already seen 4-5 cases with co-infection. Dengue’s is a supportive treatment and for malaria, we give anti-malarial treatment. These patients are coming with much lower white blood cell count and platelet counts and longer fever durations,” said Dr Bajan.
In addition, these two mosquito borne illnesses plus typhoid has been implicated in the use of one fourth of the hospital beds in the city. Dengue has accounted for 99% of fever cases at certain hospitals.
Mumbai has reported five dengue fatalities so far this season. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page