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Adenovirus alarm in West Bengal: Mamata says death figure is 19

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has claimed the death figure for children admitted to hospitals with Adenovirus-related symptoms to be 19, out of which six are confirmed cases of Adenovirus.

According to her, the remaining 13 mishaps were aided by comorbidities.

Rubbishing the looming alarm over Adenovirus in the state, the chief minister said that although the virus has affected one member of her family also, she had not publicised it. However, she did not divulge the details of her family member who has been affected by the virus.

However, unofficial figures have claimed the death figure for children admitted to hospitals with related symptoms to be 45 in the last ten days. As per the unofficial figures, till late Sunday afternoon, the figure was 40. In the interim period from Sunday afternoon till late Monday evening, five more child deaths with related symptoms have been reported, taking the figure to 45 in the last ten days. But, the administration has not confirmed this.

Sources said that most of the deaths have been reported from B.C. Roy Children's Hospital, the prime hospital in Kolkata with specialization in the paediatric treatment. Similar reports had come from the private hospitals as well. "Though all the death cases were not confirmed cases of Adenovirus, surely all these children were admitted with related flu-like symptoms like cold, fever, breathing problems and sore throat, among others," said an official from the state health department.

According to him, since so far there is approved medicine or any specific- line for treatment of Adenovirus, the factor is adding hitches for the process of treatment in such cases. The virus can spread through skin contact, by air through coughing and sneezing, and through an infected person's stools.

The state health department has already issued an advisory for doctors, especially paediatricians, to take special care of children being admitted with flu-like symptoms, especially those aged two years or below since they are most vulnerable to being affected by Adenovirus.

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