Another 12 children succumbed to the “mystery fever” in Firozabad district in the last 24 hours, health department officials said on Sunday.
The “intense” viral fever has swept parts of western Uttar Pradesh claiming 68 lives, including 40 children, over the past week.
Most of them reported high fever, dehydration and a sudden drop in platelet count. Others had dengue symptoms and passed away during treatment.
Now, with recovery time stretching to over 10 days, government hospitals are scrounging for beds and blood banks are stretched.
A high number of cases have been reported from Agra, Mathura, Mainpuri, Etah and Kasganj districts, with Firozabad district said to be the worst affected. Health officials told TOI that a few viral fever cases have been reported from eastern UP as well.
Situation is dire at the Firozabad medical college where 72 children out of 135 are battling for life. Over 50% of them have dengue symptoms, officials added.
Vinod Kumar, an inconsolable father and resident of Firozabad’s Sekhpur village, said, “My four-year-old daughter was suffering high viral fever for four days. We had admitted her to a private hospital as no vacant bed was available elsewhere. After low platelets and high fever, she died on Saturday.”
With rural areas badly hit, some of these patients are being shifted to Agra and other cities. Teams from the health department are reaching out to villagers with medicines as well. But, there is no record of those dying in private hospitals and at home in rural areas.
“The situation in the districts is alarming,” Firozabad MLA Manish Asija said, adding that “waterlogging, lack of sanitation and hygiene are the reasons behind the disease spread.” Chief medical officer of Firozabad district, Dr Neeta Kulshrestha said, “Twelve children have died of the viral fever in the last 24 hours. The exact cause is being studied.”
The CMO added that all the patients at the government hospitals are tested for Corona and so far none of the viral infection cases can be linked. While the chief medical superintendent (CMS) of Firozabad medical college, Dr Hansraj Singh, said that they are increasing the number of beds.
“Viral fever patients are being admitted in Covid-19 wards. Doctors and paramedics are on alert,” the CMS added. “The intensity of the fever is worrying. Children are taking two weeks to recover.”
On Sunday, additional director of health department, AK Singh, said, “With high humidity, the temperature in Agra region is staying above normal, which is ideal for the spread of such vector-borne diseases. However, the cases of deaths are being investigated. In certain cases, patients had co-morbidities.” [Economic Times]