Monday, January 22, 2018 | ePaper

Mysterious disease in Sitakund hills

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MEDIA reports said nine children died of an undiagnosed disease in a remote Sitakund hilly area of Chittagong in the past four days. Meanwhile more children were admitted to hospital where doctors are at a fix to decide a fair treatment. Affected children aged 2-10 years suffered from fever coupled with breathing problem, vomiting, rash, diarrhea and blood in stool. But Pathologists and Physicians are in the dark about the nature of the diseases while the unknown disease is taking life of children. It has emerged in a village inhabited by Tripura tribe and spreading.

Naturally panic has spread in the area and beyond as physicians are pondering what this disease is and what remedial treatment can save children's life. It needs laboratory diagnosis and clinical opinion to develop treatment. It goes without saying that the Health Ministry must immediately come forward to take the disease seriously and find out the cause. It should involve all possible resources and expert manpower to find the root cause of the disease. If necessary we should seek help from the World Health Organization to know the diseases and its treatment. It is important to know whether it an epidemic or a viral disease.

Many also fear whether the disease has any connection with tribal life style, food and drink or it is a new phenomenon arising out of environmental changes. Such combination of symptoms was never seen before and so the panic is causing tension all over in the area and in greater Chittagong region.

The affected area in Tripura Para is at a small distance from Dhaka-Chittagong highway. Children died in the village from the unknown disease as parents looked on without knowing what has really happened with their children. Meanwhile 34 more people were admitted to Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases and Chittagong Medical College Hospital for treatment. They are given treatment based on symptoms when doctors have no prior knowledge about the disease. Chittagong Civil Surgeon said they recovered the affected children from their homes and sent to the hospitals. Upazila Health Office got the information on Wednesday, but nine children were already dead.

It is heartening that a team of doctors from Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research has already visited the area and collected valuable information about the diseases. The disease is mysterious, as no adult has been found affected so far. It has hit the hill people when  the outbreak of Chikunguniya fever has hit the capital. It appears that Health Officials have taken prompt action to check the spread of the disease in the hills but Chikunguniya continues its havoc.  We suggest proper diagnosis and treatment must be found for the mysterious disease while more need to be done to check Chikunguniya from spreading across the country. It seems to be a big challenge to public health.

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