For over a week, western parts of Uttar Pradesh have been reporting deaths among children due to a mysterious mysterious dengue-like fever.
The viral characterised by high fever, sudden drop in blood platelet count and, in some cases, severe dehydration — has so far claimed 70 lives, mostly children, as per Business Standard.
The Gautam Buddh Nagar administration has also issued an alert regarding cases of viral fever and instructed health workers to take note of people who were having a temperature. The alert came as multiple people died due to the fever reported in parts of Western Uttar Pradesh. The health department appealed to people to be wary of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and also asked them to visit a doctor in case they are having a fever rather than opting for self-treatment
Firozabad has been the worst-hit district, with nearly 50 casualties. It has also gripped Agra, Mathura, Mainpuri, Etawah and Kasganj in the past few days.
BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh's Firozabad Manish Asija on Tuesday claimed that the toll due to suspected dengue in the district has risen to 44.
"Last night (Monday) three deaths took place, while two deaths took place on Tuesday, taking the toll to 44," Asija said, adding that camps have been put up in 25 affected places.
"More than 40 children have died in Firozabad due to dengue since 22 to 23 August. This morning, I received the sad news of (the death of) six children," Asija had tweeted on Sunday, adding, Most of these children were in the 4-15 age group."
A team of 15 doctors have arrived from Lucknow, and held a meeting with officials of the district administration and the health department. It also conducted tests in the affected areas of the district.
Earlier on Sunday, Asija said that more than 40 children have died due to dengue in the district, and blamed the state health department and the local civic body for the "tragedy".
Meanwhile, District Magistrate Chandra Vijay Singh has ordered the closure of all schools for Classes 1 to 8 till 6 September due to the suspected outbreak.
In his order issued on Monday night, the district magistrate said it will be applicable to all government and non-government schools as well as coaching institutions. He also warned of strict action against anyone disobeying the order.
Recently Hindustan Times reported that medical teams have identified at least two dozen cases of scrub typhus in Mathura, though it is unclear if it is related to the epidemic in Firozabad.
Scrub Typhus is an infectious disease caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi — a bacteria that lives in the salivary gland of mites. The infection spreads when larval mites feed on human blood — rather than biting or piercing the skin, mite larvae usually insert a part of their mouths down the hair follicles or into pores on human skin.
However, according to BBC, physicians in a few of the affected districts — Agra, Mathura, Mainpuri, Etah, Kasganj and Firozabad — believe dengue, a mosquito-borne viral infection, could be the main cause of deaths.
They say many of the patients were taken to hospital with a declining platelet — a blood component that helps form clots — count, which characterises a severe form of dengue.
CM visits Firozabad, issues directions
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath visited some dengue patients in Firozabad on Monday. The chief minister visited the Hundred Bed Government Hospital and met the ailing children, besides inspecting arrangements for their treatment.
CM श्री @myogiadityanath जी महाराज ने आज जनपद फिरोजाबाद के स्वशासी राजकीय चिकित्सा महाविद्यालय पहुंचकर वहां भर्ती बच्चों के स्वास्थ्य व उपचार की जानकारी प्राप्त की।
महाराज जी ने सम्बंधित अधिकारियों को डेंगू व वायरल बुखार पर प्रभावी नियंत्रण हेतु आवश्यक दिशा-निर्देश दिए। pic.twitter.com/AhY2nyHVKo
— Yogi Adityanath Office (@myogioffice) August 30, 2021
Adityanath visited almost all the wards of the hospital and enquired about the condition of children affected by dengue while warning health officials and medical staffers of strict action for any laxity in their treatment.
On being contacted, Uttar Pradesh’s health minister Jai Pratap Singh, however, had told PTI, "The news is wrong. There is no such report (about dengue deaths).”
After visiting the hospital, the chief minister, met the district magistrate, chief medical officer, additional director (Health) and public representatives in the hospital’s auditorium and gave necessary instructions to them to make proper arrangements for treatment and the prevention of dengue in the district.
He also visited the Sudama Nagar from where most of the dengue cases were reported. Earlier, on his way to the hospital, the Congress workers tried to show black flags to the chief minister but the police took them into custody.
Divisional Commissioner Amit Gupta of Agra division had also toured the affected areas of Firozabad on Sunday afternoon and had given necessary instructions to the Health Department and Municipal Corporation officials and had asked people to exercise caution.
With inputs from PTI