A five-member team of doctors from the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) visited the Jalpaiguri district hospital on Monday to check on some 100 children suffering from influenza-like illness (ILI) to find out how so many got infected with it amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the past four-five days, around 200 children from different parts of the district, mostly aged between one and four years, have been admitted to the hospital with symptoms like fever, cough and cold. Some of them also had diarrhoea.
Sources at the hospital said only one child among them was detected Covid-19 positive so far earlier this week and has been isolated.
On Monday, 96 children with ILI were present at the Jalpaiguri hospital’s paediatric ward. “Twenty-two children were discharged today (Monday) but another 22 got admitted,” said a doctor.
Gautam Das, an NBMCH paediatrician and a member of the visiting team, said they suspected an outbreak of viral fever.
“Even so, we have suggested tests for Japanese encephalitis, chikungunya and dengue for all children (locally). This apart, swab samples of 10 children will be sent to Calcutta for specialised viral tests. So far, as the discharge rate is high, we are suspecting viral fever,” said Das.
Earlier in the day, Jalpaiguri district magistrate Moumita Godara Basu visited the hospital to speak to doctors and the mothers of the admitted children.
“All possible arrangements have been made for their treatment. We are keeping close watch on the situation,” she said.