A “mysterious fever” has claimed the lives of eight children in the last 10 days in Mirch, a small village in Haryana’s Palwal district. At least 44 others, of whom 35 are minors, have developed fever-like symptoms and have been admitted to private hospitals.
Although the health officials are yet to ascertain the cause of death, they have not ruled out the possibility of dengue as fever and low platelet count in most cases have been observed.
Faced with a dire situation, health officials are visiting homes to spread awareness about dengue and sanitation. Those running fever are being screened for dengue and malaria. Along with this, their Kovid test is also being done.
“We came to know that children are having fever and there have been deaths. We are visiting homes. Surveys are being conducted, medicines are being distributed. The team is working round the clock. We also noticed that There was poor hygiene. We are conducting additional tests to find out the cause of fever,” said Vijay Kumar, SMO, Hathin.
Apart from children, elders are also running fever. For the past several days, the number of people suffering from fever is increasing.
Villagers claim that the deaths are due to low platelet count followed by high fever, which is one of the symptoms of dengue, and that people could have been saved if health officials had paid attention.
“Till now 7-8 children have died. This could also be due to contaminated water supply and collection of larvae in standing water. This has been going on for 15-20 days… They haven’t been tested for dengue. The health team is here now. Even the ASHA workers go to their centers and do not come to the village. There is no health facility here,” said Mr. Kumar, the sarpanch of Chilli village. Naresh Kumar said.
On the other hand, officials claim that the platelet count drops even in case of viral fever.
There is no health facility in this village with a population of about four thousand. The level of cleanliness is also pathetic.
Khurshid Alam, a villager said, “They say the platelet count is low. It has been happening since August 25. Health teams arrived on September 11. Most of those affected are children. There is an atmosphere of fear in the village.”