After he became ill, he had to take a 7 hour train ride to reach Bangalore. When he arrived, he was in critical condition, severely dehydrated and in renal failure with dengue fever. Last night was a bad one which may have been critical.
Here's the latest information on dengue fever.
Though much of the world is focused on the Ebola virus, pockets of Asia are struggling with record outbreaks of a mosquito-borne infectious disease called dengue fever, which has no specific drug treatment. As the WSJ’s Shirley S. Wang reports:
Guangdong Province is facing its largest outbreak of the virus in more than 20 years. There have been more than 44,000 confirmed cases there, with more than 15,500 people hospitalized and six deaths as of Nov. 12, according to the Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission.
On Nov. 3, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned travelers to the region about the outbreak, advising them to prevent mosquito bites.
The Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, with more than 9,000 cases, is battling its largest-ever outbreak of laboratory-confirmed infections. In Hong Kong on Nov. 7, officials confirmed a third case of locally acquired dengue, after last month discovering its first in four years. Earlier this fall, Japan faced its first outbreak in 70 years.
While the virus can’t be spread directly from person to person, a mosquito that has bitten an infected human can transmit the disease to others.
Within a few days of the first locally acquired case of dengue in Hong Kong, which is known for its meticulous public-health and mosquito-control practices, officials had questioned about 300 people in the vicinity of the place where the patient was believed to have contracted the illness and other sites he had frequented, and held two meetings to educate the public about the virus.
Dengue fever cases world-wide have climbed dramatically since the 1960s, with some 50 million people infected annually. Some 500,000 are estimated to contract more-severe dengue that requires hospitalization, leading to about 22,000 deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization.
Some officials view reports of dengue infections as politically damaging and withhold information of the numbers of people infected. In September, the chief minister of West Bengal, dismissed reports of an increasing number of dengue-related deaths, saying doctors were misdiagnosing.
If hundreds of millions of people in India have undiagnosed and unacknowledged primary infections, there is a danger that a sudden shift in the circulating dengue strain could cause a widespread increase in life-threatening illnesses.
I met these two good people when they came to London two years ago. We took them to St. Alban's cathedral in Herfordshire, which was close to where they were staying. Bishop Leo was enraptured by the history of the ancient place and spent many happy hours exploring the building. On his most recent world tour to holy sites, he said prayers for all those who made a request.
Now, he's the one in God's hands.
I, for one, didn't know dengue fever was such a threat.