Lucknow: A deadly fever has wreaked havoc on families in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district, claiming more than 40 lives over the past few weeks. However, unofficial reports speculate the actual death toll to be over 100, as the mysterious fever continues to plague the district and adjoining Badaun .
Heavy rains that gave rise to a flood-like situation in Bareilly has worsened the situation and has put the people in a state of alarm as the threat of water-borne diseases looms large upon the city. To address the current situation, the Yogi Adityanath government has dispatched four teams of doctors and medical experts from Lucknow and Delhi.
The state rapid response team has detected the presence of plasmodium falciparum (PF) malaria among patients of Majhgavan block, which has witnessed the maximum number of casualties.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), PF Malaria is one of the most deadly forms that can turn fatal if treatment is delayed beyond 24 hours of onset of clinical symptoms. These include features like headaches, high fevers, chills, headaches, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Taking note of the potential epidemic-like situation in Bareilly, UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said, “When fever comes, testing is done with the help of slides given in a kit which will reveal if the case is of vector borne disease or not.”
The health minister also suspended district malaria officer Dr PK Jain, holding him responsible for over 40 deaths in a fortnight. He said that some ‘laxity’ was found on the part of the officer and further action will be initiated against him.
The situation continues to be alarming with hospitals and health centers flooded with patients. The district hospital, which houses 350 beds, has been filled for days due to which patients are being taken to women’s hospitals instead.
The UP health department along with ASHA (accredited social health activist) workers is now busy conducting door-to-door survey of houses in the affected villages to identify fever patients. Health camps that facilitate the distribution of medicines are also being conducted in the affected areas in order to bring the situation under control.