With the purpose of offering clear pointers on prevention and therapy of co-infections of coronavirus with different illnesses, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare mentioned, “As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) case definition, a Covid case may present with acute onset of fever and cough, or, acute onset of any three or more of the following signs or symptoms: fever, cough, general weakness or fatigue, headache, myalgia, sore throat, coryza, dyspnoea, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, altered mental status.”
“This case definition, although sensitive, is not very specific. Seasonal epidemic prone diseases, as cited in the foregoing paragraphs may all present as febrile illness, with symptoms that mimic Covid-19. If there is a co-infection, then apart from the febrile illness there may be constellation of signs and symptoms that may lead to difficulty in diagnosis. A comparative analysis of disease onset, symptoms, signs, warning signs, complications and diagnosis is given at Annexure,” the ministry added.
The seasonal sample of epidemic susceptible illnesses noticed annually contains illnesses like Dengue, Malaria, Seasonal Influenza, Leptospirosis, Chikungunya and Enteric fever. They can co-exist with the present Covid-19 pandemic and also can pose medical and laboratory diagnostic points.
The Health Ministry has listed approaches to diagnose suspected co-infection which embrace, a excessive index of suspicion for epidemic susceptible illnesses present in particular areas throughout monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. Bacterial co-infections should even be suspected in reasonable or extreme circumstances of Covid-19 not responding to therapy.
“It should also be considered that malaria and dengue can coexist with other infections, and thus a diagnosis of either of these does not rule out the possibility of the patient not suffering from Covid-19. Similarly, a high index of suspicion of malaria and dengue must be there when a fever case is diagnosed as Covid-19, particularly during the rainy and post rainy season in areas endemic for these diseases,” the Ministry added.