The West Bengal government has stated that sufficient infrastructure has been created across the state in recent years to deal with the rising cases of Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) and Adenovirus cases in the state.
"Over the rising cases of Acute respiratory infections (ARI) and Adenovirus sufficient infrastructure has been created across the state in recent years to deal with the situation. There are 2500 plus Sick Natal Care Unit (SNCU) beds, 654 Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU), and 120 Neo-Natal Care Unit (NICU) beds in the state," the government said on Sunday.
"Additional 75 PICU beds have also been operationalized in BC Roy Hospital recently. Senior doctors are also deployed at BC Roy hospital to manage the situation," it added.
Several districts in West Bengal have been witnessing a surge in cases of children suffering from Acute Respiratory Illness (ARI), the hospital authorities informed.
26 children suffering from ARI from different districts are undergoing treatment at North Bengal Medical College (NBMCH) in Siliguri, and some have also been admitted in the critical care unit.
According to the hospital authorities, this is the time for common viral infections. Viruses like influenza, para influenza, and meta nova are found during this season. Since the symptoms of all these are the same, it is tough to specify the particular virus.
Dr Sanjay Mallick, NBMCH superintendent said, "At present, the number of patients is not as much as in different hospitals in Kolkata. But we are keeping close vigilance and taking the data of every day and sending it to Sastha Bawan, Kolkata. There are enough facilities available in the hospital to admit the children if the number increases in future. But we do not have the facilities to examine the adenovirus cases. Because it is not like the routine text."
Samir Orao, the father of an admitted child said, "He has been under treatment here for the last eight days, suffering from cough, cold and breathing problems. We are very much worried after many children are dying in Kolkata."
Md Nasir Hussain, a resident of Nepal said that he had brought his two-month-old daughter to the NBMCH suffering from infections.
"The doctor said, treatment is undergoing, they are trying their best, and the patient's condition is better than before. But the sisters and doctors are not taking proper care of the patients," he alleged.
Amid rising cases, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has called Influenza A subtype H3N2 as the major cause of rising respiratory illness in India.
According to the data given by ICMR, Pan respiratory virus surveillance has been established by ICMR/DHR across 30 VRDLs.
The surveillance data from December 15 to date reflects the rise in the number of cases of influenza A H3N2. About half of all inpatient severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and outpatient influenza-like illnesses were found to have influenced A H3N2.
Emphasising about the clinical features of Influenza A H3N2, ICMR has said that this subtype appears to cause more hospitalizations than other influenza subtypes.
"Out of the hospitalized SARI patients with influenza A H3N2, about 92 per cent are suffering from fever, 86 per cent from cough, 27 per cent from breathlessness, 16 per cent with wheezing, and additionally, 16 per cent had clinical signs of pneumonia and 6 per cent has seizures. Also, 10 per cent of SARI patients who have H3N2 needed oxygen, and 7 per cent required ICU care," ICMR stated.
ICMR has also suggested people wash their hands regularly and avoid shaking hands and spitting in public.
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