6 more Sitakunda kids hospitalised
Six more children fell sick yesterday in Sitakunda's Tripura Para and were admitted to hospital immediately, but 51 children, hospitalised with similar symptoms, were apparently getting well.
However, nine children, who had similar symptoms, died this week at their houses in remote hilly areas in the district. They are believed to have been suffering from the same disease.
All the victims are between one and 12 years old and the symptoms include fever, rash, breathing problems, vomitingand blood in stool, said Dr Azizur Rahman Siddique, civil surgeon of Chittagong.
Of them, 13 have been admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital and the rest to Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Disease (BITID) in Sitakunda's Fouzdarhat, he added.
Azizur said the condition of the children was improving.
The civil surgeon further said he would take an initiative to vaccinate the children. "We will investigate why the children were not brought under vaccination and take tough action against anyone responsible for neglect, if there was any," he told The Daily Star.
A three-member probe committee headed by Mirsarai upazila health and family planning officer was formed and asked to submit a report in three workdays.
Seven-year-old Ratan Tripura was the first who fell sick over a week ago. He was still sick and was admitted to BITID. His health was improving, said his father Gunadhan Tripura.
Gunadhan added he had no idea about the disease. "At first I thought it was normal fever, but when children, who became sick after my son, were dying, I was scared," he said.
At first the father did not take his son to the hospital as he thought he could not afford the treatment and went for homeopathy instead. "His condition was improving after being hospitalised on Wednesday," he observed.
Locals say almost all 64 families of Tripura Para have one or more children having the same symptoms that broke out over a week ago.
Chikan Bala Tripura's two children were admitted to BITID on Wednesday. Three-year-old Sabita fell sick four days ago, while four-month-old Babu became sick three days ago.
She said health of both was improving.
"Earlier, they did not want to eat, but now they are taking food," she said with a smile.
Dr Mahmud Al Farabi of BITID said the children were being provided with nutritious diet. "All the children have been suffering from malnutrition. Their health was improving after taking nutritious diet," he observed.
Contacted, Dr Ershad Ekrammullah, assistant professor of medicine at BITID, said the children were being given symptomatic treatment with nutritious diet.
Faruk Ahmed Bhuiyan, chief scientific officer at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) in Dhaka, told The Daily Star that it would take four to five days to identify the actual reason behind the disease.
Earlier, a team from IEDCR visited the victims and collected their saliva, urine and blood samples for tests on Thursday. They have also collected surrounding evidence from Tripura Para.