Kathmandu, August 11
At least 20 cases of cholera have been confirmed by Epidemiology and Disease Control Division under the Department of Health Services in Kathmandu.
The results of stool sample tests referred to the National Public health Laboratory confirmed the disease.
Dr Baburam Marasini, EDCD director, told The Himalayan Times that 20 diarrhoea patients admitted to Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital, Teku, for treatment tested positive for bacterium Vibrio cholerae. He, however, said no deaths were reported and claimed that the cholera outbreak was under control.
“Contaminated water is the only reason behind the cholera outbreak. We advise all to drink safe water and maintain proper sanitation and personal hygiene to prevent the virulent disease. We can prevent the disease by using boiled or chlorine-treated water,” Dr Marasini said, adding that doctors were providing necessary treatment to patients admitted to the hospital. Majority of the cholera patients are from Kalimati, Kuleshshwor and other slum areas.
With monsoon getting stronger, Kathmandu Valley is becoming more vulnerable to cholera, a virulent disease caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
A doctor at the hospital said on an average, 20 diarrhoea patients visit the health institution for treatment and there are a very few cases of cholera. According to World Health Organisation, cholera transmission is closely linked to inadequate environmental management.
Researchers have estimated that every year, there are roughly 1.4 to 4.3 million cases, and 28,000 to 142,000 cholera deaths worldwide every year. Provision of safe water and sanitation is critical to control cholera and other waterborne diseases.
The bacteria has a very short incubation period of two hours to five days. About 80 per cent cholera infected people have mild or moderate symptoms, while 20 per cent develop acute watery diarrhoea with severe dehydration. This can lead to death if untreated.
A version of this article appears in print on August 12, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.