Two of the three victims in the past 24 hours were infants and died at Dr BC Roy Post Graduate Institute of Pediatric Sciences in Phoolbagan. The third, a one-and-a-half-year-old toddler, died at Medical College Hospital.
Viral panel test results from two of the unconfirmed – but suspected adenovirus – victims are awaited. Doctors would not confirm if these were also due to adenovirus without the final results. The results of a viral panel, which confirms the virus responsible for the infection, are supposed to arrive in “no more than five hours, from sample collection to delivery”, according to an expert. One of the two boys, whose infections are not yet confirmed, was hospitalized on February 20; the other was admitted at least two days ago.
The confirmed adenovirus victim was a nine-month-old boy from Udaynaraynpur in Howrah. The boy had been admitted to Phoolbagan Hospital, the state’s only children’s referral hospital, for the first time on February 2, where he underwent intensive treatment for an adenovirus infection before being discharged. But his parents had to bring him back on February 19 with recurring episodes of respiratory distress and wheezing. Hospital authorities were unable to provide him with a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) bed this time because all those beds were occupied. He was admitted to the common division.
The boy’s parents said they took him back to hospital on February 14 after he started to have a fever, but doctors in the outpatient department did not admit him. The parents said they had to be rushed to hospital on February 19 after he showed signs of respiratory distress.
“An intensive care unit full to bursting”
An official from Dr BC Roy Post Graduate Institute of Pediatric Sciences in Phoolbagan confirmed that the nine-month-old boy from Udaynaraynpur of Howrah, who died on Saturday, was adenovirus positive.
“Unfortunately, we were unable to provide a PICU bed as all of these beds were occupied. Our PICU is full of children struggling with viral infections, many of whom are referred from other hospitals, mainly districts” , he added.
Another baby, an eight-month-old boy, died in the same hospital on Sunday morning. This boy, from Baduria in northern Parganas, had been admitted to hospital on 20 February with an ARI. His death certificate mentions “severe pneumonia”.
The third victim of an acute respiratory infection (ARI) was a one-and-a-half-year-old child, Rudrik Sarkar, at Medical College Hospital. The boy was referred by Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial College of Medicine and Hospital, Kalyani a few days ago.
The toddler died on Sunday morning, his death certificate listing sepsis and bronchopneumonia as the cause of death. “The boy was brought to Kolkata in very acute condition with severe respiratory distress. We sent his samples for viral panel testing. Unfortunately, even before the confirmation report arrived, the boy passed away despite all possible medical support,” a source at the hospital said.
The child’s parents said they had to go to a few hospitals in the city looking for a bed in the pediatric intensive care unit before they could get one at the hospital.