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The tragic death of Ashesh Das

Yesterday, I heard about the tragic death of promising 25 year old footballer Ashesh Das from Dengue fever. And if the information I have received is correct then Ashesh died because of his own sheer negligence and the lack of knowledge about the danger of high fever which could be due to malaria or dengue.

Ashesh had been playing for three years for Calcutta Football League side Tollygunge Agragami, who currently play in the top tier Premier Division. And he had been regularly to pre-season practice until he couldn’t come to training any more due to fever. He missed training for a few days before returning to training on Monday, but was sent home by his coach. His coach Ranjan Chowdhury asked him to get himself checked properly by a doctor due to the fever, but the player took it lightly and his coach also suspects that Ashesh feared the medical costs for treatment could be too high though his coach promised him that the club would bear the costs involved.

Ashesh went too late to a doctor, was then first hospitalized at the Habra State General Hospital and then due to the acuteness shifted to a private nursing home in Barasat; but he simply came too late to seek medical help and died aged only 25.

But Ashesh is not the only footballer to suffer from dengue. Another player who is said to have been infected with dengue is seasoned East Bengal Club midfielder Alvito D’Cunha, who is getting the necessary treatment and medication. And other players who also have high fever are being checked if they have dengue, so they can be treated with the right medication so they do not meet with Ashesh’s faith.

Here is what Wikipedia says about dengue fever and its symptoms

Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are acute febrile diseases which occur in the tropics, can be life-threatening, and are caused by four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae. It is also known as breakbone fever, since it can be extremely painful. Unlike malaria, dengue is just as prevalent in the urban districts of its range as in rural areas. Each serotype is sufficiently different that there is no cross-protection and epidemics caused by multiple serotypes (hyperendemicity) can occur. Dengue is transmitted to humans by the Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti or more rarely the Aedes albopictus mosquito, both of which feed exclusively during daylight hours.

The disease manifests as fever of sudden onset associated with headache, muscle and joint pains (myalgias and arthralgias—severe pain that gives it the nickname break-bone fever or bonecrusher disease), distinctive retro-orbital pain, and rash. The classic dengue rash is a generalised maculopapular rash with islands of sparing. A hemorrhagic rash of characteristically bright red pinpoint spots, known as petechiae can occur later during the illness and is associated with thrombocytopenia. It usually appears first on the lower limbs and the chest; in some patients, it spreads to cover most of the body. There may also be severe retro-orbital pain, (a pain from behind the eyes that is distinctive to Dengue infections), and gastritis with some combination of associated abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting coffee-grounds-like congealed blood, or diarrhea. Some cases develop much milder symptoms which can be misdiagnosed as influenza or other viral infection when no rash or retro-orbital pain is present. Febrile travelers from tropical areas may transmit dengue inadvertently to previously Dengue free populations of Aedes (Stegomyia) Aegypti mosquitoes, having not been properly diagnosed for Dengue. Patients only transmit Dengue when they are febrile and bitten by Aedes (Stegomyia) Aegypti mosquitoes, or (much more unusually) via blood products. The classic dengue fever lasts about two to seven days, with a smaller peak of fever at the trailing end of the disease (the so-called “biphasic pattern”). Clinically, the platelet count will drop until after the patient’s temperature is normal. Cases of DHF also show higher fever, variable hemorrhagic phenomena including bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth and ear into the gut, and oozing blood from skin pores, thrombocytopenia, and hemoconcentration. When Dengue infections proceed to DHF symptoms, DHF causes vascular leak syndrome which includes fluid in the blood vessels leaking through the skin and into spaces around the lungs and belly. This fluid loss and severe bleeding can cause blood pressure to fall, then Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) sets in, which has a high mortality rate.

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