A mysterious fever in Uttar Pradesh has claimed the lives of 51 people, including 40 children, according to government data. The fever, first reported in the Firozabad district, has killed over 80 people in the district, however, this data is unofficial.
The fever, called scrub typhus, spreads through the bites of mites found in bushes. This new infection has now spread to Agra, Mainpuri, Etah, Mathura, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Basti and Kasganj districts. These areas have reported several cases of dengue as well.
The Union Health Ministry has sent a team of experts to Firozabad from the National Centre for Disease Control. This team of entomologists and vector-borne disease experts has confirmed the cases of scrub typhus.
Deaths and cases
The state is reporting over 100 cases of dengue and viral fever every day. The worst affected districts are Firozabad and Mathura, where the disease has claimed 51 lives.
On Sunday, 105 fresh cases surfaced in Firozabad, but no deaths were reported. “105 new patients of dengue and viral fever were admitted while 60 people recovered,” Dr Sangeeta Aneja, principal of the autonomous state medical college in Firozabad, told PTI on Sunday. As of now, 447 patients are being treated for viral fever and dengue in various wards, she said.
In Mathura, new cases were reported in Ram Nagar, Chaumuha, Fulgarhi and Daghenta. Earlier, Koh, Pipraut, Jachaunda, Sakarva and Junsuti villages had reported cases of fever.
Meanwhile, 170 children were admitted with viral fever in Motilal Nehru Hospital in Prayagraj on Sunday. Varanasi and Basti are also reporting cases.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has launched a state-wide surveillance drive from September 7 to 16. Health officials have been asked to go door-to-door to identify those who have viral fever or COVID-19 symptoms.
Health officials have been instructed to ensure there is no scarcity of medicine and medical equipment.
Nodal officer of Firozabad district Sudhir Kumar Bobde has visited affected areas of Sudama Nagar and Ailan Nagar and requested people to refrain from storing water.
The district health department has released Gambusia fish in ponds around Firozabad to prevent the disease from spreading further. Gambusia fish feed on mosquito larvae.
The district officials have also requested schools to suspend classes for students of classes 1-8 till September 16.