Case of Lyme disease detected at STIDH

Kathmandu, January 5

Lyme disease has been detected in the country for the first time, according to doctors at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku.

According to Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, coordinator at Clinical Research Unit of the hospital, a 32-year-old patient was diagnosed with Lyme disease at the hospital recently. “Lab test for Lyme disease is not possible in the country,” he said.

Due to high cost involved, test and treatment of the disease is not possible in the country. “There are patients who visit the hospital for tick-bite. But we are not sure if they have Lyme disease,” he said.  “Lyme disease is caused by bacteria known as Borrellia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of Ixodes ticks,” said Dr Pun, adding, “This is the first-ever lab-confirmed case of Lyme disease in Nepal. Following this, at least four other people also bitten by ticks have visited our hospital over the last few months.”

“We send samples abroad for Lyme disease test. People from rural areas of the country are most likely to experience tick-bite, but they tend to ignore it which may result in Lyme disease. However, it should be noted that not all cases of tick-bite lead to this disease,” informed Pun.

If bitten by a tick, one should seek medical treatment as soon as possible, the doctor advised.