In the news: Viral fever escalates in Kerala, a baby wrongly declared dead and more

A quick wrap of health news.

Swine flu, dengue spread in Kerala

More than a 100 people have died in Kerala due to different kinds of viral fever infections since January this year. News agencies reported that 53 people have died of swine flu and at least 13 have died due to dengue. The number of cases of viral fevers have only gone up since the onset of the monsoon in the state earlier this month.

On Friday, eight deaths were reported in Kerala, out of which four are suspected dengue deaths – two from Thiruvananthapuram and one each from Malappuram and Palakkad. Three fever deaths were reported from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kottayam, The Hindu reported.

On Friday, the state health department’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Project said that there were 161 confirmed cases of dengue, taking the total number of confirmed dengue cases so far this year to 6,808. There have been 13 confirmed dengue deaths so far. These numbers are likely to be lower than the actual burden of viral diseases, since a large number of people seek treatment at private health facilities that may not report cases.

The total number of suspected dengue cases this year so far is an unprecedented 23,091 cases and 38 suspected deaths. The Kerala state government has made an appeal to residents on Sunday to join the government’s mass sanitation drive on a war footing to counter this swell in infections.

Baby declared stillborn comes to life

A new born baby that was declared dead shortly after its birth at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital was found alive by its family members just before they were going to bury the child, according to a PTI report.

The baby was born premature at 22 weeks and the hospital staff found that it was motionless and not breathing. The staff declared the baby dead due to lack of apparent respiration. The body was places in a sealed bag and handed over to the father who took the body home and started preparing for the child’s funeral. However, a family member felt movement in the sealed bag and, on opening it, found the baby breathing and moving its limbs. The baby was immediately rushed back to hospital where it is undergoing treatment.

The parents have approached police claiming negligence by the hospital. The Safdarjung Hospital administration has ordered an inquiry into the matter.

Rabies death

In a rare case, a Pune man died of rabies in March and the suspected source of the rabies infection a scratch that he received from a unvaccinated pet dog 11 years ago. The victim was a 45-year-old army jawan who was not reported to have suffered any other animal bites, according to the Times of India.

The man started showing signs of a rabies infection on March 17 and sought treatment from an ayurvedic doctor in his village. But he got worse and was taken to the Military Hospital in Aurangabad on March 23. He was then referred to the Command Hospital in Pune on March 24 where he was admitted in the isolation ward with signs of abnormal behaviour, fever and possible hydrophobia.

Rabies is generally believed to have an incubation period of 30-60 days in humans, the the jawan’s death has raised old questions of longer incubation times. Medical literature suggests that there have been cases where the infection has developed even after 14 to 19 years.

Support our journalism by paying for Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

When did we start parenting our parents?

As our parents grow older, our ‘adulting’ skills are tested like never before.

From answering every homework question to killing every monster under the bed, from soothing every wound with care to crushing anxiety by just the sound of their voice - parents understandably seemed like invincible, know-it-all superheroes all our childhood. It’s no wonder then that reality hits all of a sudden, the first time a parent falls and suffers a slip disc, or wears a thick pair of spectacles to read a restaurant menu - our parents are growing old, and older. It’s a slow process as our parents turn from superheroes to...human.

And just as slow to evolve are the dynamics of our relationship with them. Once upon a time, a peck on the cheek was a frequent ritual. As were handmade birthday cards every year from the artistically inclined, or declaring parents as ‘My Hero’ in school essays. Every parent-child duo could boast of an affectionate ritual - movie nights, cooking Sundays, reading favourite books together etc. The changed dynamic is indeed the most visible in the way we express our affection.

The affection is now expressed in more mature, more subtle ways - ways that mimics that of our own parents’ a lot. When did we start parenting our parents? Was it the first time we offered to foot the electricity bill, or drove them to the doctor, or dragged them along on a much-needed morning walk? Little did we know those innocent acts were but a start of a gradual role reversal.

In adulthood, children’s affection for their parents takes on a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from teaching them how to use smartphones effectively and contributing to family finances to tracking doctor’s appointments and ensuring medicine compliance. Worry and concern, though evidence of love, tend to largely replace old-fashioned patterns of affection between parents and children as the latter grow up.

It’s something that can be easily rectified, though. Start at the simplest - the old-fashioned peck on the cheek. When was the last time you gave your mom or dad a peck on the cheek like a spontaneous five-year-old - for no reason at all? Young parents can take their own children’s behaviour available as inspiration.

As young parents come to understand the responsibilities associated with caring for their parents, they also come to realise that they wouldn’t want their children to go through the same challenges. Creating a safe and secure environment for your family can help you strike a balance between the loving child in you and the caring, responsible adult that you are. A good life insurance plan can help families deal with unforeseen health crises by providing protection against financial loss. Having assurance of a measure of financial security for family can help ease financial tensions considerably, leaving you to focus on being a caring, affectionate child. Moreover,you can eliminate some of the worry for your children when they grow up – as the video below shows.


To learn more about life insurance plans available for your family, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.