Pakyong, 9 March : On Sunday, six more children passed away due to acute respiratory infection at Kolkata’s Dr BC Roy Memorial Hospital for Children, which has increased concerns about adenovirus in West Bengal.
According to hospital sources, two of the deceased children have been identified as Atifa Khatun, an 18-month-old from the Metiabruz area in Kolkata, and Arman Ghazi, a four-year-old from Basirhat in the North 24 Parganas district. These children are suspected to have been infected with adenovirus, which is known to cause symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Atifa was admitted to the hospital on February 26 with symptoms of adenovirus, while Arman was brought to the hospital with similar symptoms last week.
The number of child deaths in the state due to fever and respiratory infections has been continuously increasing. Over the past nine days, 36 children have died from acute respiratory infection and comorbidities at Dr BC Roy Hospital.
Between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, three deaths occurred due to acute respiratory infection in the state. Almost all the pediatric beds in both government and private hospitals are occupied, and children under the age of two are most susceptible to contracting adenovirus.
A senior doctor in the pediatric intensive care unit at the hospital stated that the number of patients with respiratory complications visiting outpatient departments has decreased. However, patients who are on ventilation or in critical care require constant monitoring.
Doctors are hopeful that the spread of adenovirus will decrease as the temperature rises. The Health Department reported that 12 children in the state have died from confirmed adenovirus infection, with officials stating that 10 of them had comorbidities. A Health Department official clarified that it is not correct to attribute all the deaths to adenovirus, as many patients with serious comorbidities become critical when attacked by such viruses.
Experts state that acute respiratory infection typically lasts for five to seven days, with fever persisting for up to three days and cough lasting for up to three weeks in some cases.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has stated that the majority of acute respiratory infection cases are caused by the H3N2 influenza virus. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) also released a statement explaining that it is common to experience seasonal cold or cough between October and February due to influenza and other viruses.
Upper respiratory infections with fever are common in people over 50 and under 15, and air pollution can exacerbate the condition. The IMA recommends giving only symptomatic treatment for these infections and avoiding the unnecessary use of antibiotics. Many people tend to take antibiotics without following the correct dosage or frequency and stop taking them once they feel better. This can lead to antibiotic resistance, which is a growing problem.
The Indian Medical Association IMA advises individuals to avoid crowded places to reduce the risk of infection.
By the age of 10, all children are likely to have experienced at least one episode of adenovirus infection. This virus usually causes a mild flu-like illness that resembles the common cold. However, it can also lead to other symptoms such as conjunctivitis, fever, diarrhea (including vomiting and loose stools).
In some cases, adenovirus can cause severe illnesses such as pneumonia, which can result in breathing difficulty and require hospitalization. In younger infants, it may cause bronchiolitis, characterized by cough, fever, and breathing difficulty. In rare cases, adenovirus can affect multiple systems in the body, including the heart (resulting in myocarditis and cardiomyopathy), kidneys (leading to nephritis or cystitis), and brain (resulting in meningoencephalitis).
Kids who are at higher risk of adenovirus
Health specialist toild media that the kids who are born preterm or with lower birth weight, children with reduced immunity or immunodeficiency, and those with kidney problems or heart diseases are at a higher risk of developing Adenovirus.
Spread of Adenovirus
Adenovirus usually spreads from one infected person to another through personal contact such as shaking hands or touching, coughing or sneezing through droplets and touching an object or surfaces which may be touched by another person.
Frequent handwashing with soap and water
Wearing a face mask while in crowded areas
Avoid unnecessary touching of mouth, nose and eyes
Avoid handshake with an infected person
Sneezing and coughing into the elbow to avoid transferring the virus into the palms
Avoid contact with an infected person
When you are sick, protect others.
Stay home when you are sick.
Wear a mask to stop the spread
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others.
Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
There is no specific antiviral medication that has been proven to be effective in treating adenovirus infections. As a result, treatment is usually symptomatic, with hospitalization and oxygen support required for some patients depending on the clinical presentation. Ensuring adequate hydration of the patient is also important, and maintaining personal hygiene is crucial. Use of PCR techniques, adenovirus is now being detected more frequently through nasopharyngeal swab testing.
“Last but not the least , it’s always be cautious and there’s old proverb “Prevention In Better Than A Cure” , Stay Safe , Stay Protected
For breaking news and live news updates, like us on Facebook fb.com/thevoiceofsikkim or follow us on Twitter twitter.com/thevoicesikkim and Instagram instagram.com/thevoiceofsikkim. Visit www.voiceofsikkim.com.
The Voice Of Sikkim | Sikkim Live | Himdarpan | The Siliguri Today | Samvad | Pakyong Updates | Sarvapratham