A child from another Tripura locality at Sitakunda upazila was hospitalised on Sunday taking to 85 the number of children hospitalised with the undiagnosed disease in the past five days.
The new patient, Arun Babu Tripura, 7, came from Tripura para of Kumira union, about 1km away from Tripura para of of Sonaichhari union of the same upazila where the unknown disease was discovered on July 12.
The 85 children, of three Tripura villages under Sonaichhari and Kumira unions, were suffering from fever coupled with breathing problems, vomiting, rash, diarrhoea and blood in stool.
They were admitted to the Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases at Fauzderhat of Sitakunda and Chittagong Medical College Hospital in the port city.
The undiagnosed disease caused deaths of nine children at Tripura para of Sonaichhari union in four days until July 12.
Local health officials said that they took initiatives to search all the Tripura villages at the upazila for any more children suffering from the disease.
Arun Babu Tripura was admitted to the institute on Sunday morning, said the institute’s assistant professor (clinical tropical medicine) Md Mamunur Rashid.
Arun, suffered from high fever, breathing problem and rash in skin, was taken to the institute by his father Dhana Kumar Tripura, said Mamunur.
Quoting Arun’s father, Mamunur said that 60-70 Tripura families used to live at their village.
We urged Sitakunda upazila health officer to visit the area to see if any more children suffered from the disease.
Sitakunda upazila health officer Nurul Karim Rashed said that their health workers visited the area and found no more children suffering from the disease.
‘We kept vigil in the area,’ he said.
Nurul said that Arun visited his uncle’s house at Tripura para of Sonaichhari union, few days ago.
Mamunur said that 15 children and a pregnant woman of a Tripura village at Bakulla Bazar under Sonaichhari union, about 500 metres away from the Tripura village under the same union where the disease was first detected on July 12, were admitted to the institute on Saturday.
Chittagong civil surgeon Azizur Rahman Siddiqui said, ‘So far we found the unknown disease-affected patients at three Tripura localities closed to each other.’
He said, ‘We directed our health workers to search all the Tripura localities at Mirsarai upazila for any more patients.’
The civil surgeon said that they were giving importance on Tripura localities as children of the ethnic minority group only were affected by the disease till Sunday.
Physicians suspected the disease as a viral fever but yet they could not detect the virus. A four member team from the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research led by its chief scientific officer Faruk Ahmed Bhuiyan collected samples from the patients on July 13 for laboratory tests.
Faruk told New Age over phone that they were testing the samples at the institute and ICDDRB laboratories.
‘We are hopeful that we would get the reports in a day or two,’ he said.
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