A dengue fever outbreak was blamed for the deaths of dozens of residents in the Indian northern state of Uttar Pradesh since the start of September, as health authorities grapple to address the issue of the growing number of cases in the state.
According to Firozabad district’s chief medical officer Dinesh Kumar Premi, the district alone has already recorded 110 deaths over the weekend, with 84 of them identified to be children.
Authorities said that at least 578 cases of dengue have been confirmed in Firozabad alone over the previous month.
The Times of India reported that health officials blamed the lack of proper sanitation and hygiene in the state for the spread of dengue.
Authorities already launched a campaign to destroy all potential breeding grounds of dengue mosquitoes.
“The worst-affected areas are near unclean drains and places affected by water clogging. To put [a] tab on the breeding of the mosquitoes, we have discharged 25,000 ‘gambusia’ or mosquito larvae eating fishes in stagnant water[s],” Adwait Kumar Singh, the undersecretary for the health department, said in a statement.
Singh also said that officials blamed unqualified doctors for worsening the condition, and even killing, many dengue patients. They said the “quacks” are administering steroids to the patients that only made their fever more serious.
“During the investigation, it was found that initial treatment by quacks in slum and rural areas was a major reason for the sudden increase in the number of cases. Patients suffering from fever were administered steroids. This provided short-term relief, but multiplied the rate of falling platelets,” Singh said.
“In coordination with the local administration, the health department has launched a campaign to take action against the quacks. Private hospitals have also been directed to provide details of patients under treatment,” he added.
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