11 dengue cases reported in Capital

Kathmandu, August 10

Epidemiology and Disease Control Division revealed that 11 persons were diagnosed with dengue in the Capital from April 14 to August 9 this year.

The mosquito-borne disease was reported from Kapurdhara, Baneshwor, Saibu, Imadol and Harisiddhi, said Uttam Raj Pyakurel, vector control inspector at EDCD.

The division has warned that Kathmandu valley is at risk of a dengue outbreak as many people migrate to the Capital from dengue-hit areas.

According to Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, five patients — one from Dhading and four from Hetauda — are undergoing treatment in the hospital.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary source of dengue, is also found in the Capital.

“There are a number of patients who migrate to the Capital and this has increased the risk of dengue here,” said Pyakurel.

Kathmandu reported five dengue cases in 2016, which fell to one in 2017 but shot up to 16 in 2018.

“Dengue is asymptomatic in many people. But they are carriers of the virus.

When a mosquito bites such a person, it gets infected and transmits the disease to others. The eggs it lays are also infected,” said Pyakurel.

Controlling dengue has been a challenge as the country has implemented the three-tier government system resulting in confusion as to who will bear the responsibilities in the health sector. Besides, lack of budget is another challenge, said Pyakurel.

The number of people infected by the disease shot up this year largely because of the pre-monsoon, which provided a favourable environment for larvae to develop, said Pyakurel.

Nepal recorded 3,425 dengue cases from April 14 to August 9 this year in 42 districts.

After Dharan, dengue was reported in Rupandehi, Chitwan, Nawalparasi Mahottari, Pokhara and Hetauda, according to EDCD, which recorded 302 dengue cases in fiscal 2014-15, 134 in 2015-16, 1,527 in 2016-17 and 2,111 cases in 2017-18.

The virus is transmitted to humans when the female Aedes aegypti mosquito bites a person. Its peak biting periods are early morning and before dusk.

The symptoms of dengue are high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, pain in muscles and bones, rashes and back pain.

“We need to give information on ways to prevent dengue,” said Anup Bastola, Consultant Tropical Medicine Physician at STIDH. “We should use larvicide to prevent mosquito growth and massive fumigation campaign should be launched to combat the vector-borne disease,” said the doctor.

Many varieties of fish, including mosquito fish and goldfish, eat mosquito larvae.

These can be placed in container habitats such as ponds, and pools where they prey on larvae.

Means of prevention

  • Search and destroy mosquitoes and their breeding areas
  • Keep environment clean
  •  Use nets and apply mosquito repellents
  •  Wear long sleeves and trousers to cover arms and legs
  •  Remove water from flower/plant pots and plates
  •  Change water in vases/bowls
  • Recycle or dispose discarded tyres
  • Take medicines only on doctor’s advice