Nine children died of an undiagnosed disease in a remote hilly area of Chittagong in the past four days.
Four of the nine children died on Wednesday, said Chittagong civil surgeon Azizur Rahman Siddiqui.
The children aged 2-10 years suffered from fever coupled with breathing problem, vomiting, rash, diarrhoea and blood in stool and the nine children died within three to four days of the attack by the disease, said doctors concerned.
They said that the disease was yet to be diagnosed and a team from Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research headed for the affected area, Tripura Para, a remote hilly area about 1km from Dhaka-Chittagong Highway.
Some 40-50 ethnic minority Tripura families live there.
‘The situation in the particular area is alarming,’ said the Chittagong civil surgeon, who led a medical team that visited the area on Wednesday.
‘I have not seen this kind of disease in my professional life,’ he added.
Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research senior scientific officer ASM Alamgir told New Age Wednesday evening that they were still in dark about the disease.
He said that a four-member team from the institute left Dhaka for the affected area Wednesday afternoon and would start working this morning.
Of the sick children, 34 were admitted to Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases at Fauzderhat of Sitakunda upazila and the rest 12 to Chittagong Medical College Hospital.
Chittagong Medical College Hospital director Brigadier General Jalal Uddin said that they were yet to diagnose the disease and formed a special medical board comprising specialists from different departments for the treatment of the disease.
He said that they were giving treatment to the patients based on the symptoms only.
As we considered the situation alarming, we recovered the affected children from their houses and sent them to the hospitals, said civil surgeon Azizur.
He said, ‘It is mysterious that only children are affected by the unknown disease,’ he said, adding that they found none of the adult population in the area to suffer from the disease.
Sitakunda upazila health officer Nurul Karim Rashed said that he was first informed about the attack of the disease on Wednesday by a local physician. Later, he visited the spot and saw the sick children.
‘Local people confirmed us that nine children who were not sent any hospital died of the disease in the past four days,’ he said.
‘Later I informed the district civil surgeon about the situation and he later visited the area with a medical team,’ said Nurul.
‘We rescued all the sick children from the area,’ he said.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country