September 25, 2021 1:44:52 am
Three people, including a 12-year-old boy, have died in Nuh’s Akera village in just a week, with officials suspecting dengue as a possible cause. The health department has started screening all suspected fever cases in the village for dengue and malaria.
Their families said they had dengue-like symptoms and died within three-four days of contracting a fever, between September 15 and 22. Residents also claimed the department only swung into action after a boy, Samin, died Wednesday. Officials, however, said they routinely conduct fogging and that cases of viral fever are generally high during monsoons.
On Friday, Samin’s mother Wakeela said, “He had high fever on September 19. We took him to a local doctor, who gave him an injection, but his platelet count dipped. When the fever did not subside, we took him to Nalhar medical college. He was then admitted to a private hospital in Alwar, where he died.”
“He was running around till a week ago,” she said, in tears. On Friday, Samin’s aunt Aneesha was rushed to a local doctor in Nagina as she had a high fever.
Officials and villagers said the first death was reported on September 15 night. Iqbal Khan (45), who ran a transport business in Bhiwadi, caught a fever on September 11 and died four days later. Said his brother-in-law Imran Khan: “His condition quickly deteriorated. We took him to a hospital in Bhiwadi on September 15 when his platelet count was 4,000. The doctors termed it a serious case and referred him to Solanki hospital in Alwar, where tests confirmed he had dengue and kidney damage. He was referred to a hospital in Jaipur but he died en route.”
Iqbal’s family said his two children, a 10-year-old son and a 17-year-old daughter, had been treated for high fever at a private hospital last week.
The same day, Mohammad Shakir (32), who worked in construction, reported a high fever. Over the next three days, his condition deteriorated and he vomited incessantly. His family rushed him to a doctor in Pinangwan and then admitted him to a government hospital in Nalhar on September 18. He died the next morning.
His father Jan Mohammad said, “Doctors told us he had dengue-related symptoms. Before we received a report, he died. He had no prior health ailments. He has left behind his wife and six children.”
So far, 25 cases of dengue and four cases of malaria have been reported in Nuh. Surender Yadav, the chief medical officer, said though a final report was awaited, it is suspected that the deaths in Akera occurred due to dengue: “In Iqbal’s case, the Elisa test was not conducted. His kidneys were damaged. The rapid test kit report from Alwar was positive. We will collect the report from the hospital concerned and check. Shakir had been staying in Pinangwan for the past two months on rent and died in Nalhar. His report was negative for dengue. In the recent death of 12-year-old boy, we are yet to collect his file and report.”
Two teams of the district health department comprising doctors, nurses, lab technicians, auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs), ASHA workers are now collecting samples to test for malaria and dengue among the 10,232 residents in Akera.
On Thursday and Friday, officials conducted a source detection exercise and collected larvae. Dr Mangeram, from the health and wellness centre (HWC) in Akera, said, “Health workers are conducting a door-to-door survey and testing all suspected fever cases. Out of the 200 rapid diagnostic tests for malaria so far, all have tested negative. We have also broadcast messages from a local mosque to spread awareness in the village.”
CMO Yadav said that after heavy rainfall in recent weeks, stagnant water had collected around the village. “Our team is conducting extensive fogging. We have collected samples and larvae from the village for testing, and a final report is awaited. We are also making people aware of the precautions to be taken. Every four years, the strain of dengue changes,” he added.
However, Mohammad Javed, a local resident, claimed that since the monsoon season began, there had been no fogging in the village: “Authorities have woken up only after people started dying. On Thursday, some fogging was done.”
Nuh sub-divisional magistrate Saloni Sharma said, “Based on preliminary findings, it is suspected that the cause is dengue, but a final report is awaited. We have taken several preventive measures, but there has been a lot of rainfall and a lot of stagnant water has accumulated. Apart from fogging and fumigation, anti-larvae medicine has been sprayed in drains and public health teams are continuously monitoring the situation.”
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