Imported dengue cases reported

Kathmandu, October 14

With the increasing flow of migrant workers returning home from different countries to celebrate Dashain, the chances of imported dengue outbreak have increased in the country.

Half-a-dozen people with symptoms of dengue visited the out-patient department of Sukraraj Tropical Infectious Disease Hospital  in the last one week and all of them tested positive for the disease. All those patients were migrant workers from Malaysia who had returned home to celebrate Dashain. Likewise, some students who returned home from India have also tested positive for dengue.

According to World Health Organisation, the cases of dengue are reported in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Yemen. There are nearly four million Nepali migrant workers in different countries, with around one million in Malaysia alone, according to the data of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Shyam Singh, a dengue patient of Baitadi, who had returned from Malaysia a few weeks ago, said he was diagnosed with dengue and admitted to Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Malaysia, before returning home. “People returning home from different countries to celebrate Dashain have been diagnosed with dengue. If uninfected mosquitoes bite infected symptomatic or asymptomatic people afflicted with the dengue virus, they can transmit the infection,” said Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, coordinator of clinical research unit at STIDH.

According to WHO, dengue is a mosquito-borne flavi-virus found in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, mostly in urban and semi-urban settings. Day-biting Aedes mosquitoes spread the disease. It is the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease and is now endemic in over 100 countries.

Around 40 per cent of the world’s population is at risk of dengue. An estimated 500,000 people afflicted with severe dengue require hospitalisation each year. Globally, 28 per cent decline in  fatality rate has been recorded between 2010 and 2016 with significant improvement in the case management through capacity building at country levels.