Andhra Pradesh

Central team arrives to investigate mysterious fevers

A team of medical experts from New Delhi at gramsabha at Battalavallam village in Chittoor district on Friday.

A team of medical experts from New Delhi at gramsabha at Battalavallam village in Chittoor district on Friday.   | Photo Credit: By Arrangement

Villagers allege delayed response from government hospitals

A six-member high-level delegation of medical experts from various Central institutes from New Delhi and Kerala rushed to Varadaiahpalem mandal in the district on Friday, responding to the series of reports in The Hindu about the mystery shrouding the febrile illness of several villages during the last three months, with as many as 20 casualties reported due to suspected dengue and viral fevers. The situation assumed serious proportions when the former Union Minister and former Tirupati MP Chinta Mohan on Tuesday last expressed doubts about prevalence of yellow fever in the region.

The Central team consisting of members – Dr. Piyush Jain from Dr RML Hospital; Dr. Pranay Varma from National Centre for Disease Control; Dr. Gavendra Singh from National Vector-borne Disease Control Programme; Dr. Himanshu Chauhan from Directorate General of Health Services (New Delhi); Dr. Amukumar Balakrishnan from National Institute of Virology (Alleppy); Dr. Chandrasekhar Gedam (ROWFW, Hyderabad) – held a gramasabha (village assemblage) at Battalavallam, which bore the brunt of febrile illness, reporting five casualties in a month, while 25 others have reportedly been undergoing treatment in various hospitals in Nellore and Chennai.

During the Gramasabha, the villagers broke down before the Central team, saying that though they had been suffering from mysterious fevers for the last three months, there was no seriousness on the part of doctors in the government hospitals.

“Those who reach the private hospitals in Chennai and Nellore are able to survive. Depending on government health centres in the mandal proved fatal, with inordinate delay in taking blood samples and arrival of reports. This scenario had claims five lives in our village since a month,” Mr. Nageswara Rao, a farmer, said.

Family members of the victims, both deceased and under treatment, sought the team to post medical faculty in rural hospitals in the mandal round the clock, and arrange taking of blood samples at the villages itself, along with total medical care by the government. The team members interacted with the villagers, and received feedback regarding the symptoms they were suffering from; prevalence of jaundice-related ailments if any; and their recent movements away from the villages.

Fever cells

Responding to the public appeal, Collector P.S. Pradyumna said that fever cells would be created at SVRR and SVIMS Hospitals in Tirupati, and emergency cells would come up at area hospitals in Srikalahasti and Satyavedu to accommodate all the patients suffering from fevers.

“We are arranging ambulance services to transport the patients to hospitals, and you (patients) would stay there with fine medicare till fully recovered,” the Collector said.

District Surveillance Officer (Infectious Diseases) Annareddy Sudarsan and District Epidemiologist V. Nagaraju said that blood samples from the vulnerable villages would be collected for investigation purposes of the Central team. The blood samples would be screened in laboratories in Pune and New Delhi.

Foreign devotees

The Central team also visited the Oneness University administered by the Kalki Bhagwan Ashram in Varadaiahpalem mandal.

The team had an interaction with the management there regarding the arrivals of foreign devotees. The team is also scheduled to visit Rachakandriga and Karipakkam villages and some other places at the industrial belt.

Sub-Collector Nishanth Kumar, District Medical and Health Officer Aruna Sulochana Devi, District Coordinator of Health Services P. Sarala and senior medical officers accompanied the team.

Responding to the visit of Central team to Varadaiahpalem, Mr. Chinta Mohan said that it was a big relief to the poor people.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 8:22:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/central-team-arrives-to-investigate-mysterious-fevers/article19935199.ece

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