Spread of Adenovirus in West Bengal – Timeline

A timeline how adenovirus spread in the state of West Bengal.

A timeline how adenovirus spread in the state of West Bengal.

Amid the West Bengal government’s claim to have the Adenovirus situation under control, here is a timeline of how the Adenovirus scenario unfolded in the state –

January 30th, 2023

It was reported that the state witnessed a steady increase in viral infection among children aged up to 14. The doctors opined that Adenovirus, among others, was chiefly responsible for the uptick. On investigation, it was found that the primary symptoms were high fever, a persistent cough along with vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration. 

Health experts cited the lack of exposure during the covid pandemic-related lockdown as a reason for the reduction of immunity, which led to the virus menace. They also said that the children who had respiratory issues like asthma and allergy were vulnerable to the virulence of Adenovirus. 

February 17th, 2023

The National Medical College Hospital of Kolkata reported three children’s death due to viral infection, though the hospital refused to attribute Adenovirus to the deaths. The physicians said that the persistent cough resulted in breathing distress, which could raise mortal fear for children.

They emphasised the fact that during the season change, the surge of viral fever is witnessed in general. Moreover, as per the health specialists, due to the presence of other viruses, including the common flu, it was hard to detect the virulent Adenovirus without proper diagnosis as the symptoms of the viruses are the same. 

They also urged the people of the state, to take extreme caution and not ignore the symptoms like cold and cough.

February 20th, 2023

A delegation of the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) led by Yashobanti Srimani, visited several hospitals in Kolkata to gauge the infrastructure of the hospitals regarding taking on the surge of viral infection. After speaking to the hospital officials, the members of the WBCPCR looked content.

February 24th, 2023

Kharagpur reportedly witnessed the first Adenovirus-related death. The deceased was a child who was suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. The Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) were ordered to keep strict vigil and report suspected cases to the nearby hospitals. Kharagpur administration urged the people to resume the use of masks.

March 2nd, 2023

Amid the fear over the potential Adenovirus epidemic, the West Bengal government stated that the effect of the viral infection was about to subside. It also said that 12 deaths reported so far, were related to the Adenovirus, whereas a total number of 5,213 Adenovirus cases were registered to the hospital.

Furthermore, the government said that 121 hospitals were fully prepared to take on the surge of the Adenovirus and a 24-hour control room was opened to tackle the situation. The government further added that the deaths largely took place because of the underlying co-morbidity and played down any prospective medical emergency.

March 6th, 2023

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bandopadhyay averred in the Assembly that 19 children had died of Adenovirus. Among the deaths, 13 were due to co-morbidity. 

In the Assembly, the chief minister gave assurance that the situation was under control and urged the people to maintain the mask mandate.

She said that the hospitals were ordered to work with wartime alacrity and avoid referring patients unless there was an emergency. Bandopadhyay added that special facilities were established for the newborns taking the vulnerability of the children to the Adenovirus into consideration.

The government said that a task force was formed with paediatrics. The task force would monitor the situation and advise the health department if need be.

March 9th, 2023

A team from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) arrived at the state to review the situation. The central team held a meeting with the state officials and visited the hospitals where the Adenovirus treatment was going on.

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