For more than a week now, children in some districts in Uttar Pradesh have been hit with a new mysterious fever that took 50 lives thus far.
The children are waking up with a high fever, pouring with sweat, suffer joint pains, headaches, dehydration, and nausea, and sometimes even rashes are spreading across legs and arms.
There have been fifty people who lost their lives, to this fever, the majority are children and several hundred have been admitted to hospitals in six districts in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. None of the dead tested positive for COVID-19.
No one is quite sure what this is and doctors in a few of the affected districts – Agra, Mathura, Mainpuri, Etah, Kasganj, and Firozabad suspect that dengue, a mosquito-borne viral infection, could be the main cause of deaths.
“The patients, especially children, in hospitals are dying very quickly,” says Dr. Neeta Kulshrestha, the most senior health official of Firozabad district, where 40 people, including 32 children, have died in the past week.
It is still not clear whether a scourge of dengue is the cause of this new outbreak or whether it is something else in Uttar Pradesh.
A lot more studies, investigations, and genome analysis can only reveal whether the latest spate of “mystery fevers” in India is triggered by dengue alone as thought by some doctors or whether this is a new variation of another disease. In order to find out, local clinics and hospitals would need training in securing samples of people suffering from fever and send them for genome testing to labs.