More than 50 individuals, mostly children, have died following what reports have recently described as a "mysterious fever outbreak" in Uttar Pradesh, Northern India.
An IFL Science report said that the condition that has yet to be determined involves joint pains, dehydration, headaches, nausea, and fever. In some cases, it also includes other symptoms like the appearance of rashes in the upper and lower limbs.
None of these individuals who reported the said symptoms tested positive for COVID-19. In the six districts this mysterious disease has affected, physicians suspect the outbreak results from a particularly severe form of dengue fever. Bloodwork from some of the patients presenting a drop in platelet counts backs this scenario.
Patients Dying Very Fast
In a BBC News report, the most senior official of Firozabad District, Dr. Neeta Kulshreshta, said that the patients, particularly in the hospitals, are dying very fast.
An 11-member team of doctors has been sent to the district along with medicines and other medical essentials.
A Newsweek report through MSN News said, with just one-week interval, the disease has been reported in other districts including Agra, Mainpuri, Mathura, Kasgani, and Etah, with doctors in the region reporting patients to go to them reporting a drop in platelet counts which can be considered a symptom or indication of severe dengue.
Principal and Dean of the Autonomous State medical hospital in the region, Dr. Sangeeta Aneja, said, even though some of the patients are testing positive for dengue fever, "not all of them are."
Reasons Behind the Spread of the Disease
The hospital official added, the cases increased abruptly in the last five days, and 90 percent of those affected are children.
She also said many of them have already tested positive for dengue, although others have presented a decline in platelets, although they have not tested for the viral disease that Aedes mosquito is spreading.
Meanwhile, Manish Asija, a lawmaker from Firozabad, claimed that when verifying that 40 children had died in the district, the reasons behind the spread of this mysterious disease are "water-logging, lack of sanitation and hygiene.
Form of Severe Dengue
Dengue fever is a viral illness transmitted by most mosquitoes found in the tropical and subtropical areas worldwide, mostly in cities.
There are four different dengue virus types. Meaning one can be infected four times. Most cases of this virus are mild, although it can cause acute symptoms, which can be akin to flu. Similar to flu, this can be fatal, especially with a lack of proper medical care.
The World Health Organization estimates approximately 390 million dengue virus infections globally. One in every 10 individuals at risk from this disease gets infected each year.
The number of infections and fatalities has been substantially rising in the last few decades, growing four-fold from 2000 to 2015, when more than 4,000 people died of the viral illness.
Another possibility that could have driven the mysterious fever outbreak is Japanese encephalitis, also brought by mosquitoes. The WHO approximates 68,000 clinical cases each year and is the primary cause of encephalitis in various Asian nations.
In general, this illness is rare, but it has a high case-fatality ratio. Nearly one in every three individuals contract the virus.
Report about the mysterious fever is shown on India News Ahead's YouTube video below: