Two of the three victims in the past 24 hours were infants and died at Dr. B.C. Roy Post Graduate Institute of Pediatric Sciences at Phoolbagan. The third, a one-and-a-half-year-old toddler, died at the Medical College Hospital.
Viral panel test results from two of the unconfirmed – but suspected adenovirus – victims are awaited. Doctors wouldn’t confirm if those were also due to the adenovirus without the final results. The results of a viral panel test, which confirms the virus responsible for the infection, should arrive in “no more than five hours, from sample collection to delivery,” an expert said. One of the two boys, whose infection has not yet been 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 Howrah’s Udaynaraynpur. The boy was first admitted to Phoolbagan Hospital, the state’s only referral hospital for children, on Feb. 2, where he underwent intensive treatment for an adenovirus infection before being discharged. But his parents had to return him on February 19 with recurring episodes of respiratory distress and wheezing. The hospital authorities were unable to provide him with a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) bed this time because all these beds were occupied. He was admitted to the general ward.
The boy’s parents claimed they returned him to hospital on February 14 after he developed a fever, but doctors at the outpatient clinic would not admit him. The parents said they had to rush back to the hospital on February 19 after he showed signs of respiratory distress.
‘Intensive care is bursting at the seams’
An official of Dr. BC Roy Post Graduate Institute of Pediatric Sciences in Phoolbagan confirmed that the nine-month-old boy from Howrah’s Udaynaraynpur, who died Saturday, was adenovirus positive.
“Unfortunately we could not provide a PICU bed because all these beds were occupied. Our PICU is bursting at the seams with children battling viral infections, including many who have been referred from other hospitals, mostly from the districts,” he added.
Another baby, an eight-month-old boy, died in the same hospital on Sunday morning. This boy, from Baduria in North 24 Parganas, was hospitalized with ARI on February 20. His death certificate states “severe pneumonia”.
The third victim of acute respiratory infection (ARI) was a year and a half Rudrik Sarkar at the Medical College Hospital. The boy was referred from the College of Medicine and Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Hospital, Kalyani a few days ago.
The toddler died on Sunday morning, his death certificate listed sepsis and bronchopneumonia as the cause of death. “The boy was taken to Kolkata in a very acute condition with severe respiratory distress. We sent his samples for a viral panel test. Unfortunately, the boy died before the confirmatory report came in, despite all possible medical attention,” said a source at the hospital.
The child’s parents said they had to visit a few hospitals around the city looking for a bed in the pediatric intensive care unit before they could get one at the hospital.