In a first ever case in Mumbai, a 12-year-old boy from Colaba died of the hantavirus infection.
Hantavirus infection, known as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a lung infection caused by viruses found in the saliva, urine, and droppings of rodents. The illness is rare but has a high morbidity and mortality rate.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials confirmed that the child’s blood tested positive for the virus after being tested at a local laboratory. They are awaiting test results from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune.
The child, who was admitted to Bhatia Hospital, Tardeo, on September 29, succumbed after his parents discharged him against medical advice. Doctors who treated the child said the case baffled them. "The child was brought to the hospital with complaints of breathlessness, cough, fever and a dropping platelet count. For the first five days, we conducted tests for leptospirosis, dengue and malaria but the results were negative," said Dr Aditya Agarwal, chest physician at the hospital told Hindustan Times.
Agarwal said the child was put on antibiotics, but developed severe stomach pain that was diagnosed as abdominal pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). "He started coughing up blood from the next day onwards. Within 24 hours, his health deteriorated to the point where we had to put him on a ventilator," Agarwal told HT.
The child began bleeding profusely from both lungs after and his response to the treatment was slow and he continued bleeding from both lungs.
However, he succumbed to his illness on Saturday.