Two children reportedly died of dengue in Kolkata in the last two days, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday confirming 23 death due to the vector-borne disease in West Bengal this year.
A five-year-old girl from Hooghly district died of “dengue shock syndrome” in a Kolkata hospital on Tuesday, while a three-year-old boy from Lake Town in the city died at Institute of Child Health (ICH) on Sunday.
After the three-year-old boy’s death, state health department sources said on Monday that the toll reached 23 since January. With Tuesday’s death, however, the toll now stands at 24.
Sunidhi Sharma, a resident of Serampore in Hooghly district, was brought to Kolkata on Sunday after her health deteriorated.
Her relatives allege that the vector-borne disease has spread massively in their town.
“In Serampore Municipality area, many are suffering from dengue. In the name of preventing dengue, all that the civic authorities do is to spray bleaching powder,” said a relative of Sharma.
Three-year-old Aharshi Dhar was admitted to ICH on November 14 with high fever, rashes and a low blood platelet count.
Sources revealed his fever subsided, yet he couldn’t be saved because his overall health had deteriorated. He was declared dead on Sunday morning. His death certificate mentioned “severe dengue” as the cause of death.
Meanwhile, addressing an administrative meeting in Malda district, Banerjee said the malarial outbreaks of the 1990s have changed to dengue epidemic now, as the nature of the virus has changed. She said deaths due to high fever is nothing new in the state as malignant malaria used to take heavy toll every year in the 1990s and early 2000s in the state. “So far 23 people have died of dengue…. As the nature of the virus has changed, we are having outbreaks of dengue in the past few years instead of malaria,” the chief minister said.
She said 191 deaths had occurred due to malaria in 2001 and 175 deaths in 2005.
Over 40,000 people have been affected by dengue in the state since January. The affected districts include North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly.
—With PTI, Malda