A nine-month-old girl, suffering from severe respiratory distress, died at a government hospital in Calcutta on Monday.
At least four children, either detected with adenovirus or suffering from other viral respiratory diseases, have died in Calcutta’s government hospitals in the past two days. On Monday morning, the girl died at Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.
An official of the hospital said the baby was under treatment at the Chinsurah Sub-divisional Hospital for 21 hours before she was referred to Hooghly Imambara Hospital. “She arrived at our hospital about five days ago with severe respiratory distress. She was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). She passed away on Monday morning,” said the CMCH official.
Officials of the Dr BC Roy Institute did not want to comment on any death of children at the hospital on Monday. “We are sending daily reports to the health department. We will not comment on any death,” said an official.
A nine-month-old girl passed away at the Dr BC Roy Institute on Sunday. A senior official of the hospital said she could not be shifted to the PICU even after her condition deteriorated as all beds in the unit were occupied. The official said all 20 PICU beds have been occupied for several days now, forcing the Kankurgachhi hospital to turn down referrals of critically ill children from other hospitals.
Doctors said the respiratory infection was continuing to spread both among children and adults and a large number of hospital beds were still occupied by such patients. An official of the ICMR-National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases said a recombinant strain of adenovirus is mainly detected among children suffering from respiratory diseases now.
“The recombinant strain was earlier present too but now it is being detected in most cases,” said Shanta Dutta, director of ICMR-NICED. Along with adenovirus among children, the influenza virus is also continuing to affect a lot of people in Calcutta.
“We are still seeing many adults with influenza getting admitted. It is advisable for people, particularly those who have compromised immunity, to wear face masks in public places and follow other personal hygiene,” said Chandramouli Bhattacharya, infectious diseases expert at Peerless Hospital.
The state health department on Monday reiterated its earlier advice to officials of hospitals in the districts outside Calcutta to ensure that referral to hospitals in Calcutta was cut down and children were referred only if it was absolutely necessary.
A senior official of the department said that the Dr B C Roy Institute of Paediatric Sciences is overburdened with patients and referral has to be minimised. “All hospitals must fully utilise the infrastructure available to them,” said the official.
The advice was spelt out in a meeting with officials and doctors of government hospitals as well with officials of districts in a meeting on Monday.