Kathmandu, July 27
At least 17 persons have tested positive for bacterium Vibrio cholerae in the Kathmandu Valley since the onset of monsoon this year.
Since cholera was first detected in early July, it has spread to more than a dozen places. The cases were reported from Kalimati, Tripureshwor and Bafal of Kathmandu, and Bhaisepati, Thaiba, Lagankhel and Tangal among other areas of Lalitpur.
According to a weekly bulletin released by the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, as many as 10 new cases of cholera (Vibrio cholerae Ogawa 01) were reported from Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku and Patan Hospital, Lalitpur in the past one week.
The samples were confirmed positive by Nepal Public Health Laboratory.
Health officials are carrying out epidemiological and environmental investigations along with water and sanitation activities in coordination with district public health offices and partners.
Dr Sher Bahadur Pun at STIDH said cholera cases were reported as early as June this year. In the past years, cholera cases were reported only after mid-July till mid-November.
“Furthermore, some cases have been confirmed in some areas of Lalitpur that were previously unaffected. More cases are either yet to be seen or patients are visiting private hospitals, which rarely report to the health authorities,” he told The Himalayan Times.
Many patients are believed to be visiting private hospitals for treatment. “Those who can foot the bill usually visit private hospitals,” he said, adding that patients testing positive for cholera are discharged within three to four days depending on time taken to recover.
He said no death was reported in connection with cholera so far, thanks to timely treatment and easy access to hospitals in urban areas.
At least 80 cases of cholera with zero death were reported in the Valley last year.
Most of the patients come to the hospital after developing symptoms like nausea, vomiting, headache and loose motion, among others. Dr Pun advised the denizens to use boiled or chlorine-treated water to prevent the disease and to visit the hospital as and when they develop any symptom of the disease.
“Use of unsafe water, and poor sanitation and personal hygiene are the main reasons that cause the disease to spread during rainy season,” he warned.
Cholera is caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The bacteria has a very short incubation period of two hours to five days.
A version of this article appears in print on July 28, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.