Kathmandu, September 6
If laboratory tests carried out at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital today are anything to go by, roughly 50 per cent of those who visit the hospital with fever and muscle pain are dengue-infected.
According to the hospital, of the 372 blood tests done today 175 tested positive for dengue. “There has been a significant rise in the number of dengue infected patients at the hospital. Unless people are aware and start working on their own, it is difficult to prevent the infection,” said Anup Bastola, spokesperson and consultant tropical medicine physician at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital .
With the rise in the number of patients at the hospital, it has started providing services to patients from a separate fever unit from Tuesday.
“There are at least 300 fever patients visiting the new unit of the hospital every day,” said Bastola. However, one should understand that every fever case is not dengue and every dengue is not fatal, he added.
Dengue virus is transmitted to humans when female Aedes aegypti mosquito bites a person. It is highly likely to bite early in the morning or before dusk.
“As there was an early pre-monsoon in the country it gave a favourable environment for the mosquitoes to breed. Mobility of people to and from dengue affected areas is a major cause for the rise of infection,” said Bastola.
There is a growing concern from various stakeholders on dengue prevention. Fever clinics have also been started at various hospitals in the country. Local levels should take initiative if we are to prevent dengue. We must keep our surroundings clean to help prevent mosquitoes from spreading,” said Epidemiology and Disease Control Division Director Bibek Kumar Lal.
Mosquitoes that cause dengue also lay eggs in water collected in flower pots, bottles, empty cans and air conditioners, according to Lal. They also lay eggs in places where rainwater gets collected, Lal added.
Symptoms of dengue include high fever, severe headache, pain behind eyes, pain in muscles and bones, rashes and back pain.
We have sent additional budget to at least 25 local levels across the country for dengue prevention. It has been quite difficult to create atmosphere of co-ordination among the three tiers of government. If we are to prevent dengue from spreading, then we must have a proper communication and co-ordination among three levels of the government.
We will be discussing further on plans and actions immediately upon the arrival of health minister tomorrow, said Mahendra Shrestha, spokesperson for Ministry of Health and Population.
A version of this article appears in print on September 07, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.