Representative image. Photograph:( Others )
A combination of dengue and a deadly influenza, news reports said, is spreading like wildfire through Tamil Nadu.
The reports said as many as 11,000 people have been hospitalised -- many of them in ICUs -- across the state, with as many as 1,500 being hospitalised in Chennai itself.
The reports added that 200 of those hospitalised had been diagnosed as having dengue fever.
Four people have so far died of dengue, and another five deaths are thought to have been caused by dengue.
The directorate of public health has declared a "sporadic outbreak" of dengue in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore and Thanjavur districts.
“So far we have around 200 cases of dengue in the state. But we have a lot more people who tested negative and yet have a low blood platelet count. We have asked doctors to treat these cases as dengue unless they have any other confirmed diagnosis,“ the TOI reported the director of public health, Dr K Kolandaisamy, as saying.
The health secretary was reported as saying government hospitals were well-equipped to deal with the crisis.
The public meanwhile has been advised against leaving water stagnant and to visit the nearest hospital should they notice any symptoms of dengue coming on.