Virus stings Behala ward

Scourge of disease continues as 8-yr-old dies in city hospital, 48-yr-old in Barasat

By Debraj Mitra in Behala
  • Published 27.10.17
Stagnant water in various places of Behala’s Ward 128 that has seen many dengue patients in 15 days. (Sanat Kumar Sinha)

Tapan Das, 47, died at Behala's Vidyasagar State General Hospital on Wednesday. He had tested for dengue, his relatives said. But the death certificate says "cardio respiratory failure".

Mita Chowdhury, 55, tested positive for dengue on October 21. She is battling for life at CMRI. On Thursday, she was put on ventilator support, her husband said.

Behala: Several people in the area stretching from Dr AK Pal Road to Fakirpara Road in Ward 128 have tested positive for dengue over the past fortnight.

Apart from bleaching powder being sprinkled in various places, this Behala pocket hasn't seen much civic action.

Some 30m from the house of Tapan Das, there is a small tank with stagnant freshwater, an ideal breeding ground for the Aedes aegypti mosquito that causes dengue.

Even a blob of freshwater is a potential breeding ground, along with flower vases, dumped plastic cups and other artificial and natural reservoirs.

Das, originally from Tangra, had come with his wife to his in-laws' house off Dr AK Pal Road on October 18.

He was admitted to hospital on Monday with high fever, his brother-in-law, Bishu Ghoroi, said.

A few blocks away, lives Ira Bhattacharya, 68, who was admitted to BP Poddar Hospital with high fever on October 13. The hospital report confirmed she had dengue.

Hours before she were to be discharged on October 18, a blood test showed her platelet count at 66,000. She stayed back. The second report said "NS1 viral fever with thrombocytopenia" (shortage of platelets).

She was discharged on October 20. "But we aren't taking any chances. Most of the day, she spends inside a mosquito net," her husband, Chandan Bhattacharya, 69, said.

A five-minute walk from their home revealed their fears weren't unfounded.

A rainwater puddle, another potential breeding ground for the mosquitoes, was seen along the road leading to the house.

Close by, a building under construction had two open reservoirs with stagnant water.

A labourer said he didn't remember seeing any civic team in the past one week he had been working at the site.

A resident of the area said he had seen civic teams spraying larvicide and cleaning garbage more often than they did a month ago. "There seems to be a sense of urgency after so many people tested positive for dengue."

Ratna Roy Majumder, the CPM councillor of Ward 128 and the Leader of the Left Front in the civic house, accused the government of trying to conceal the exact number of dengue patients.

"The chief minister is downplaying the dengue outbreak. And civic officials have taken a cue from her," Roy Majumder said.

A health official of Borough IV, in which the ward falls, said he wasn't authorised to say anything when Metro asked him about the rising number of dengue patients in the ward.