Rise in kids complaining of fever in north Bengal; state forms expert panel
A sudden spike in paediatric cases in north Bengal, with most children complaining of fever and respiratory trouble, has triggered a panic of some virus outbreak, prompting the state health department to set up an expert team to monitor all such cases across the state.
“An expert committee has visited the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital. They suggested tests for dengue, chikungunya, scrub typhus, Japanese encephalitis and Covid-19. Only one child tested positive for Covid-19. We suspect it is some kind of a respiratory virus. Further investigation is going on,” said a senior health official.
Officials said that while 50-60 cases are admitted in the paediatric ward of the state-run Jalpaiguri district hospital on a daily basis, the number has more than doubled in the last four to five days.
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“The children are all between one and four years of age and they complain of fever, cough and shortness of breath. We have added new beds and an extra ward to accommodate the patients. Regular visits are being made to identify if there is an outbreak but so far, it seems to be a seasonal illness, like influenza,” said the official.
An expert team has also been set up to monitor such cases in other state-run hospitals across the state and recommend actions.
The West Bengal government has already preparing for the third wave of Covid-19. Paediatric, and critical unit treatment facilities at every district hospital are being strengthened.
Till date, 1.5 million Covid-19 cases have been reported from West Bengal. While the daily count shot up to 20,000 mid-May, the number has dropped to around 500-700 cases every day. Around 18,600 people have succumbed to the virus till now in the state.