We are alarmed to know that an unidentified disease claimed lives of five people at Baliadangi Upazila in Thakurgaon district within a span of 15 days. Reportedly, all the five victims were family members and they, one after another, reported similar symptoms - high fever, severe headaches and throat infection – before succumbing to their sudden illness in quick succession. The doctors at the Rahnpur Medical College Hospital not only failed to save their lives but also couldn’t identify the disease they were suffering from. Currently some other patients are also suffering from the same killer disease.
Meanwhile, a specialist team from the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research has reached the district to identify the disease. We can only hope that the medical team will succeed in identifying the disease and its treatment, and saving the lives of those who are suffering from it right now.Naturally, the people in the locality are panicked. Local administration has already shut educational institutions and put restriction on the movement of people in an area with a radius of one kilometre centring the house where the deaths have been reported. Village Police personnel have been deployed to ensure no people move near the house. These are commendable steps. But efforts should also be made to make sure that the virus of the disease does not spread to other areas.
The unknown disease exposed the inefficiency of our public health care system in far flung areas that the existing facility does not come to any help when epidemics of any kind hit the masses. The majority of the country’s teeming millions depend solely on public healthcare. The government should invest more in strengthening healthcare facilities in rural areas. Otherwise, deadly disease will continue to claim lives and ill-equipped hospitals will come of no use.