Ground Report | Why Are So Many Children Dying of Fever In UP?
Video | Watch the situation on the ground as UP grapples with a surge in cases of viral fever including dengue.
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
According to BL Yadav, a resident of Aronj village in Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh, around 1200 people are sick in his village, out of which, around 200 people are admitted in the hospital.
In the past few days, various districts in Uttar Pradesh, including Firozabad, Mathura, Kasganj, Agra, Etah and Mainpuri have been a spike in people being hospitalised with what's being called as 'mysterious' fever.
Doctors have ruled out COVID-19 as dengue-like symptoms are being seen in the patients.
In most cases, along with high fever, there is also a decline in the number of platelets, much like in the case of Dengue.
In these districts, as of 3 September, there have been reports of more than 71 deaths due to fever.
Firozabad Sees the Worst of It
The district of Firozabad, has recorded the highest number of cases so far including 61 deaths (as of 3 September). What's especially concerning is that most of the deaths have been among children.
Chief Medical Superintendent of Firozabad District Hospital, Dr Hansraj Singh says that the 100-bed ward in their hospital made specially for children is now occupied by 238 patients. Of these patients,78 have tested positive for dengue.
Why Have Cases of Fever Increased All of a Sudden?
According to Firozabad's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Dinesh Kumar Premi, the monsoon season is to blame. "At this time, mosquitoes and the diseases spread by them have increased," he says.
Dr L K Gupta, Child Specialist in Firozabad says that dengue is caused by mosquito bite. "It is impacting children more because children play around the drain, do not wear full clothes," he says.
"The second reason is that these children lack nutrition, due to which their immunity is weak."Dr. L.K Gupta, Child Specialist, Firozabad
Dr Gupta explains that in dengue patients with fever, symptoms can manifest as,
There may be a red rash on the body, which may also be itchy
In Firozabad, in some children, swelling in the liver, water in the stomach, and lungs have also been observed.
Locals Complain of Systemic Negligence
Local people complain that patients are not getting proper treatment. With hospitals falling short of beds, 2 to 3 patients are being forced to share one bed. Even getting consultation in the hospital is a huge ordeal.
Addressing this, the Chief Medical Officer of Firozabad, Dr. Dinesh Kumar Premi says that the whole system is being looked into, and it will be fixed soon.
"If the medical college and district hospital will be overloaded, then they will fail to admit patients. Health camps are being organised to screen patients of fever for dengue, maleria and provide appropriate care."Dr. Dinesh Kumar Premi, Chief Medical Officer, Firozabad
According to him, the health department teams are going door-to-door to ensure sanitation practices are being followed in the homes.
At the same time, many residents are accusing the municipal corporation of negligence.
He says that despite complaining of dirt and waterlogging, hearing is not being done.
How do you protect children from dengue and other viral fevers?
Wear full sleeve clothes in this season
Avoid mosquito bites
Do not allow water to stagnate anywhere
If you have water coolers or drains near your home, get them cleaned
Prevent children from going near drains, waterlogged and littered areas
If you have fever, see the doctor and get the necessary tests done
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