An infant, barely one day old, is the lone survivor of a family in Telangana, after four people from the same home belonging to three different generations, were killed due to dengue, within a span of 15 days.
The incident came to light after the death of 29-year-old Soni, who succumbed to dengue at the Yashoda Hospital in Secunderabad on Wednesday. Soni, whose family hailed from Mancherial district, was pregnant and had been admitted to the hospital on October 28.
She gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday. Tragically, he is the only member of the family who is now alive, and was sent back with his relatives, who took his mother's body to Mancherial on Wednesday.
The first death in the family took place on October 16 as Gudimalla Rajagattu, Soni's husband, succumbed to the fever.
Rajagattu was a teacher at a local private school and was rushed to a hospital in Karimnagar, as he was suffering from high fever. He underwent treatment for a few days before he succumbed to his illness.
Even as the family was in mourning, Rajagattu's grandfather, Lingaiah (85) was also diagnosed with dengue, and passed away four days later on October 20 at his residence in Sri Sri Nagar in Mancherial.
The disease didn't spare Soni and Rajagattu's 5-year-old daughter Varshini either, as she was also soon diagnosed with dengue on the eve of Diwali. Though she was rushed to a local doctor for treatment, she too passed away within a matter of days.
Soni who was nine months pregnant and in shock, was shifted to the hospital in Secunderabad for her delivery. She had also begun showing symptoms associated with dengue, and passed away just two days later.
As the entire family succumbed to dengue, health officials suspect that stagnant water, which is a breeding ground for the disease carrying mosquitoes, must have been located somewhere close to their home. Samples of water were collected by officials.
Just earlier this week, the High Court pulled up the state authorities for their failure to control the mosquito menace, resulting in people dying of dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases.
The bench asked the government how the number of dengue cases rose from 85 in January to 3,800 in October. It asked the government to set up a committee headed by the chief secretary and take steps on war-footing to control the mosquito menace.