The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Viral alarm in Bhadreswar

Bhadreswar (Hooghly), Nov. 23: Viral fever has assumed alarming proportions in three wards of Champdani municipality with 45 people having been admitted to the Chandannagore sub-divisional hospital.

Official sources said many others were undergoing treatment at private nursing homes.

A medical team has visited the affected areas. District chief medical officer (health) Abdul Mannan Mollah has been closely monitoring the situation since early this week.

A three-day camp was also set up in the area last week to conduct free blood tests.

The fever was first detected in Ward nos. 16 and 17 during Kali Puja, Mollah said, adding it had now taken a serious turn.

Almost every house has one or two persons infected with the disease in Shantipalli I and II, Geetanjali Avasan, Sarkar Bagan in Ward 16.

Incidents of viral fever had also been reported from Ramkrishna Palli, Green Park, Rabindra Palli of Ward 17, Mollah said.

Six members of the family of Biswanath Sarkar, a bus conductor and resident of Shantipalli II in Ward 16, had recently contracted the fever.

However, local residents were still confused over the nature of the epidemic. Some said the so-called viral fever was nothing but malaria. Others speculated that the disease could even be typhoid.

Biswanath’s wife, Swapna, 25, and daughter, Rimpa, 5, have been admitted to Chandannagar sub-divisional hospital, where doctors diagnosed the disease as typhoid.

“One injection costing Rs 150 has to be administered daily to my wife and daughter. One tablet costs Rs 60,” he said, lamenting about the expensive treatment.

“I’ve been compelled to mortgage some of my wife’s gold ornaments to meet these outrageous medical expenses,” Biswanath added.

Biswajit Poddar, 25, another resident of Shantipalli, is suffering from high fever. An employee at an optician’s shop, he is being treated by a local doctor but hasn’t been admitted to any hospital.

Chandan Bhattacharya of Bagra colony, an undergraduate student, is also suffering from a similar fever.

Local residents are convinced that the disease is malaria because the fever persists for long periods. They complain that that the reason behind the fever is that the drains in the area had not been cleared regularly.

They have also accused CPM councillor of Ward 16 Chirasree Baruah for the outbreak.

It is a fact that conservancy and garbage removal services had not been carried out in the area appropriately. There are potholes, puddles and open drains that invite rampant mosquito breeding.

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