Uttar Pradesh is struggling to prioritize the health of its people- evident with the covid numbers. However, a second health crisis is taking the state by storm as a severe variant of the Dengue virus is wreaking havoc in UP, killing dozens.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever has killed over 60 people in just 10 days- 50 of whom are children, directing at the probability of the virus being dominant in kids. The major chunk of the figure- 50 with 40 children- were reported from the Firozabad district and nearby areas.
Around 200 samples were collected from Firozabad and surrounding places. More than 50 per cent of these tested positive for dengue, sources within the Union Health Ministry said. All the rash cases reported are also getting treated as dengue patients by authorities, sources added.
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This is being done after a group of experts from the World Health Organization confirmed the cases to be of ‘haemorrhagic dengue’, “which is very dangerous… platelet count of children collapses suddenly and there is a lot of bleeding,” Chandra Vijay Singh, the Firozabad district magistrate, said.
The Central team from the National Centre for Disease Control has been immediately sent to the affected areas with a report due on Monday. The group consists of entomologists and experts in vector-borne diseases.
The Officiating Superintendent of the government medical college at Firozabad, Alok Kumar Sharma said, “The central medical team, under the leadership of Tushar N Nale from the National Centre for Disease Control, visited us to look at the situation.”
Not just Firozabad but the adjoining districts too are recording increasing cases of the deadly fever. Hospitals in western UP’s Agra and Mathura are flooding with cases battling dehydration and viral fever- typical symptoms of Dengue.
About 60 km away from Firozabad, Mathura comes right after it in terms of fatalities as the district has witnessed 11 child deaths in merely 15 days. All the children belonged to the same village, increasing worries of the area being a Dengue hotspot. Till now, 15 people have died in Mathura.
Pediatric wards of hospitals in Hapur are overflowing with cases as videos emerging from a government hospital, which is around 100 km far from the national capital Delhi, showed the grave situation. Young children are filling up the hospital with anxious mothers beside them.
The opposition slammed the Yogi Adityanath-led government for the lessons it failed to learn from the covid pandemic. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra lashed out at the government, saying that over 100 people lost lives due to viral fever in the state. She questioned whether Chief Minister Yogi had learnt anything after “the horrific consequences of disastrous Covid management”.
Upon visiting Firozabad, Adityanath claimed all efforts will be made to help the patients. Soon after this visit, the top health official of the district was transferred out of the region.
Apart from Dengue, the state is fighting another deadly disease called scrub typhus fever or bush typhus. Samples collected proved some of the patients suffering from this disease, which is contracted after an infected larval mite (chiggers) bite a human being. These larvae are found in scrub vegetations and bushes. It is due to a bacteria named Orientia tsutsugamushi. Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, and even rashes in some cases.