One child died due to pneumonia and pleural effusion at a state-run hospital in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district on Tuesday while 130 others are being treated for high fever and diarrhoea, a senior official at the medical establishment said.
While 42 children were discharged from Jalpaiguri Sadar Hospital and the blood samples of these children were sent for tests to find out whether they were suffering from Chikungunya, Dengue, Scrub Typhus or Japanese Encephalitis.
North Bengal is grappling with increasing cases of viral fever among children. Jalpaiguri has been the epicentre, with majority of the cases being reported from the district.
“The child who died was from Mekhliganj and was brought to the hospital in quite a critical condition. He died due to pneumonia and pleural effusion. He was six years old and had congenital heart disease,” Acting superintendent of the hospital, Dr Rahul Bhowmick, told PTI.
He said three children were referred to the North Bengal Medical College and Medical for advanced treatment. However, the Covid tests conducted on all these children were reported to be negative added Bhowmick.
Meanwhile, expert committee has been formed to supervise the situation, said deputy health secretary Dr Ajay Chakraborty.
A health department official on Monday said that at least 130 children has been admitted to Jalpaiguri Sadar Hospital with high fever and dysentery. Amid the warning released by experts about the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic might affect children more, this development came in.
“We are keeping a tab on the situation and trying to develop the hospital’s infrastructure so that no one is denied admission. The situation is quite worrisome,” the official told news agency PTI.
Two of these children were later shifted to North Bengal Medical College as their condition worsened, the official further said.
Meetings are being held by the District Magistrate Moumita Godara Basu with the authorities to assess the situation and find a way ahead.
Meanwhile, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Monday wrote to all states and union territories (UTs) for increasing the activities for prevention and control of vector-borne diseases such as dengue and calling for sustained efforts to reduce the vector density to control these diseases.
He emphasised that rapid response teams should be kept ready with all necessary logistics. “Entomological surveillance, source reduction activities and prompt vector control measures must be implemented for minimising the risk of transmission,” Bhushan said in his letter.
The Union Health Secretary also said that a multi-sectoral approach is necessary for controlling the vector-borne diseases. The role of departments other than health, such as urban and rural development and panchayati raj, is crucial, said the Union health secretary.