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2 more dengue deaths, toll highest in 7 years

Calcutta, Sept. 1: Two more dengue deaths were reported in Calcutta today taking the toll this year to eight, the highest since 2005 when 12 people died of the mosquito-borne disease.

A 67-year-old man and an 11-year-old boy were the latest victims in Calcutta.

More than 1,000 dengue patients are admitted to various private and state-run hospitals in the city. The state government, however, has claimed there has not been any extensive outbreak of the disease.

Subimal Chakraborty, 67, a resident of Lailka in Jadavpur, died of cerebral bleeding caused by haemorrhagic dengue at Apollo Gleneagles Hospital on August 28. It was confirmed today that he died of dengue. Chakraborty has tested positive for dengue in the confirmatory MAC-ELISA IgM test.

According to doctors, Chakraborty had fever for two days before being admitted to the hospital on August 26. “He complained of severe headache. The next day, a CT Scan revealed severe cerebral haemorrhage,” said Sisir Das, the neurosurgeon who treated Chakraborty.

Medicines failed to stop the bleeding and Chakraborty lost consciousness. He underwent surgery but did not regain consciousness, Das said.

Doctors said haemorrhagic dengue could cause cerebral haemorrhage. “There is always a possibility of cerebral haemorrhage, which is a life-threatening situation,” said Amitabha Nandy, the director of the Centre for Studies on Infection Immunity, Calcutta.

Today, an 11-year-old boy died of dengue at the BC Roy Institute for Paediatric Sciences. Health department officials refused to reveal the boy’s identity.

“The boy suffered dengue shock and had low blood pressure, which caused his death,” said Dilip Pal, the medical superintendent of the hospital.

Although eight people have died in Calcutta so far from dengue, the health department claimed the toll was three. But in all the eight cases, hospitals said the confirmatory tests were positive.

According to Swastha Bhavan officials, 550 people in and around Calcutta have tested positive for dengue in the MAC-ELISA IgM test. Another 1,566 people have tested positive in the primary NS1 antigen test, which indicates dengue.

Doctors said that though there is no treatment for dengue apart from supportive therapy, timely intervention can be of crucial help.

“There are several factors that lead to dengue patients turning critical. One important factor is how fast the dengue virus is detected and when the intervention starts,” a doctor said.

The blood platelet count of dengue patients should be monitored daily to find out if they are suffering from haemorrhage, he said. “Other pathological tests should be conducted to monitor vital parameters.”