Kolkata recorded its first dengue death of this year when a five-year-old boy succumbed to the disease at the staterun BC Roy Memorial Hospital for Children on Wednesday night.
There were reports of two more deaths from the disease in the districts on Thursday. A 40-year-old woman from Birbhum district died at Burdwan Medical College, while a 35-year-old man from Balurghat, in South Dinajpur, suspected to have been afflicted by the disease, died at SSKM Hospital in Kolkata.
The wife and son of Debabrata Mazumdar, member, mayor-in-council of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, who were affected by the virus, are recuperating at a private hospital in South Kolkata.
The first dengue death in the state this year was recorded in Nadia about two months ago.
The number could shoot up in the coming days, especially with the health department announcing that the virus had already been detected in the blood of 1,260 people in the state so far. Significantly, the figure was around 650 — just about half of this year’s count — for entire 2014. Worse, the current spells of rain in South Bengal may actually boost the incidence of dengue. Fresh water accumulating in different spots may acts as an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“The number of dengue cases in the city is on the rise compared to that in earlier weeks,” Dr BR Satpathi, director of health services, said.
“Since January, 1,260 people have been afflicted by dengue. We’ve alerted the government hospitals and private pathological laboratories to report to the health department all confirmed dengue cases. Thirty fresh dengue positive cases have been reported since last week,” Satpathi said.
“The five-year-old boy who died in this hospital was brought here on September 21 with high fever, pain in the joints and vomiting. His blood sample tested positive at a private pathological laboratory. Quite a few other dengue-affected children are being treated here,” Dilip Pal, superintendent, BC Roy Hospital, said.
“Several spells of heavy and light rain over the past few days have encouraged the dengue virus to spread in more areas of Kolkata and such towns as Howrah, Siliguri and Durgapur,” a senior virologist said. “The dengue virus carrier aedes aegypti mosquito breeds in clean and stagnant water, such as flower vases, uncovered barrels, buckets and discarded tyres,” he added.