Mystery fever claims two more kids in Kanpur village

August 11th, 2008 - 5:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Kanpur, Aug 11 (IANS) Two more children have died of an unidentified disease marked by high fever in a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur rural district, taking the toll to four in the past three days, officials said Monday. Two children died Saturday in Muktapur village of Gajner block and two more have succumbed to the “mysterious” disease Sunday in Mangolpur village of the same block, a district official said. Kanpur dehat (rural) district is about 100 km from here.

The disease that has affected nearly 100 kids in Muktapur came to light only when District Magistrate Rama Shanker Sahu visited the village Saturday.

The district’s chief medical officer claims it is a water-borne disease.

“The symptoms are clearly of viral fever and jaundice and on Sunday we examined about 100 patients in Muktapur and also distributed medicines. A majority of the sick people are children,” chief medical officer Satya Singh told IANS by telephone.

He, however, blamed the villagers for not approaching doctors on time for treatment.

“Instead of visiting the government hospital, which is barely three kilometres from the village, they (villagers) rely on quacks who give wrong and expired medicines,” Singh said.

He added that the disease was caused due to water-logging in most of the areas and unsafe drinking water used by villagers.

Residents of Muktapur said that the village, which has a population of nearly 1,500, has only one functional hand pump.

“Two pumps were installed about five years ago and one of them went out of order soon. We have no other source of drinking water and because there are no arrangements to draining out water from the village, the remaining pump is giving dirty water,” lamented Jagdish, whose seven-year-old son died of the illness Saturday.

District Magistrate Sahu, meanwhile, assured villagers that two new hand pumps would be installed in Muktapur soon.

An administrative official and two health workers have been suspended for failing to inform district authorities about the disease.

Administrative and medical teams are now camping in the villages, while a team of experts have also been rushed there.

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