Within a 2-km radius of Sarfabad village in Gautam Buddha Nagar district, at least 10 people have died in a span of two weeks. According to locals and relatives of the deceased, the only common symptoms all of them had were fever and body ache. The district administration set up an inquiry to ascertain the cause of deaths.
“An audit to look into these deaths… Data regarding development of the said symptoms, medical treatment sought, pathological analysis, the cause of death among others will be procured and analysed,” said N P Singh, District Magistrate, Gautam Buddha Nagar.
Of the 10 deaths in the village, the administration has been able to procure information in four cases.
Jai Deepak Verma, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), said, “In one case, the cause of death is pancreatitis, in another it is mouth cancer, in the third case it is heart attack, and liver failure in the fourth case. Our team is in the process of getting information about the medical history of each person. Blood samples have been collected and other tests are going to be conducted.”
On Wednesday evening, a meeting of senior health officials and members of the district administration was called to assess the situation in Sarfabad and the measures needed to prevent such cases. At the village, on Wednesday afternoon, locals claimed the deaths took place following a short bout of fever and body ache.
“Between August 11 and 24, nearly 10 people died in the village. All of them had fever for less than four to five days. Some complained of extreme exhaustion, muscular pain while others had complained of chest pain, stomach pain, shortness of breath and restlessness. Most of them took medicines from local doctors and chemists,” said Rinku Yadav, whose father died after showing similar symptoms.
Rinku’s father, Pitam Yadav (59), had complained of difficulty in breathing and restlessness on August 15 morning. He was rushed to hospital and admitted to the ICU. Within one hour, his situation worsened. “A day earlier, he had said he was suffering from slight fever and exhaustion. At Kailash Hospital, his heart condition deteriorated steadily. They were arranging a ventilator for him when he passed away,” said Rinku.
Less than 2 km away from Yadav’s house, Vipin Sharma (21) died within 24 hours of running a fever. “On August 15, he had slight fever. He took some medication for it. He had gone to a local chemist and bought the medicine himself. The next day, he was sipping tea when he fell and died. We came to know later that he had called a cousin at night and complained of slight chest pain,” said Sharma’s uncle, Prem Chand.
Senior doctors maintained that with medical information of these cases still being accumulated, these deaths could not be clubbed together. “We do not know the reality of those cases. It seems likely that medical attention was sought locally. Data is being collected at the CMO office. I have come across medical data relating to two of these cases. A 22-year-old man had fever for four to five days. At the time of his admission to Kailash Hospital, he seems have suffered from dengue septic syndrome — his urine output had decreased, platelet count was low and kidney was not functioning properly. It is likely that problems developed in the kidney due to dengue and it led to multi-organ failure,” said Dr A K Agarwal, President, IMA (Noida chapter).
“Another case shows acute pancreatitis as the cause of death. Since information of the other cases is being accumulated, it is difficult to club these deaths together,” he said.