Three persons have died and over 30 people have been admitted to the Vedaranyam Government Hospital (GH) following complications caused by a viral fever reported from a few villages here. Of the 30 cases, over 21 persons were admitted from Siruthalai Kaadu village, which has the highest number of cases, with the fever fast spreading. Saturday witnessed 18 admissions, the highest in the last three days.

Three deaths have occurred since Thursday. The dead include a 26-year-old woman, a 30-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man.

Similarly, over nine cases are reported from Thiruthiraipoondi hospitals.

At the Vedaranyam GH, only symptomatic treatment is underway. According to hospital sources, until a team from the Directorate of Public Health (DPH) or Community health visits and conducts screening for diseases, no protocol for treatment is possible. The treatment protocol should be directed from the DPH, said a hospital source.

At present, patients are being administered intravenous rehydration treatment, analgesics, antibiotics, and anti-pyretics. According to a doctor at the GH, “the treatment is symptomatic or empirical” as no protocol has been given by the DPH.

According to the Joint Director, Health, it would be difficult to ascertain any treatment until the samples are sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

Lack of medical intervention has aggravated the situation, said P.V. Rajendran, former MP of Mayiladuturai. According to him, no medical information was forthcoming, no swab tests or blood samples were taken. The nearest Government Hospital is at Karupampulam. But with just one non-resident doctor and four vacant posts, patients are rushed to the Vedaranyam GH some 15 km away. Both the dead women were feeding mothers, he said. Earlier in the day, a protest was staged by Congressmen led by P.V. Rajendran at the Vedaranyam Taluk office, with participation from the people of Siruthalai Kaadu demanding medical intervention at the earliest. Over 250 people participated.

Viral fever affected cases had been trickling in for the past ten days, but no help was forthcoming until Saturday, when a team of nurses and health officers had reached to camp at Siruthalai Kaadu, alleged the people.