Twelve lives have been lost over the past fortnight, by what the residents call a "mystery fever", alleging that poor sanitation in Sarfabad village near Noida's Sector 73 has led to the situation. The district administration on 25 August, ordered a probe to determine if there is an outbreak of a disease that is causing all the deaths.
According to Sukhveer Pahalwan, a Sarfabad resident and social activist, more than 100 people were suffering from fever in the village.
"There is panic among locals. The administration should quickly control the situation," he was quoted by The Times of India.
The victims are in the age group of 21-72 years.
After Vipin Sharma, 22, a BA second-year student of Government PG College, Noida, complained of mild fever on 15 August. His family took him to hospital, where he was given medicines. Shri Chand Sharma, his grandfather, said the hospital did not admit him as, according to the hospital authorities, he hadn't shown serious symptoms other than fever, reports TOI.
"On August 16 morning, Vipin suddenly complained of severe chest pain. All family members were just planning to take him to a hospital when he collapsed on the bed and died," Shri Chand told TOI. The sudden death did not even allow the family to rush him to hospital.
In another incident, Suresh Singh Yadav, a Sarfabad resident, said that on 20 August, his nephew, Gopal Yadav, also succumbed to fever.
"On 18 August, he complained of fever and we first took him to a local hospital. When his condition deteriorated, he was then taken to a private hospital in Ghaziabad. Gopal's blood pressure started decreasing and he did not respond to the treatment and died," TOI quoted Suresh Singh.
Gopal used to drive heavy vehicles and was a healthy man. Others who reportedly died of fever are Sukhpal (63), Dharamveer (60), Pitam (59), Mange (45), Nitin Kumar (21), Bhauti Devi (72), Shribhan (62), Naurang (65), Manoj (28) and Rajpal (50).
District magistrate NP Singh ordered a probe and was quoted by TOI as saying, "Doctors have been instructed to ensure their presence in OPD. We have formed a committee to investigate the deaths in Sarfabad. The reason for each shall be recorded."
Singh also held a meeting with officials of the health department and Noida Authority directing them to ensure fogging and spraying of anti-larval medicines in the affected areas.
The leaves of all doctors have been cancelled in the district. A medical camp has been set up in Sarfabad. "We received a total of 350 patients in the camp and found 80 with mild fever. There were five patients who had symptoms of high fever. We prescribed medicines and sent them to the district hospital for proper medical care," Narendra Tiwari, a doctor at the camp told TOI.
Dr Vijay Deepak Verma, chief medical officer of Gautam Budh Nagar, said the victims had died over a period of two months. "These people died of different illnesses. One person died of heart attack, one of liver failure, and one of cancer. Some people have also reportedly died of high fever. We are taking preventive measures," he said.