Kathmandu, May 7
One person has been tested positive for cholera at Sukraraj Tropical Infectious Disease Hospital and National Public Health Laboratory, Teku.
A 45-year-old man from Kathmandu Metropolitan City- 13, was tested positive for cholera on Sunday. He was admitted to the hospital for a week.
Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholera.
According to the doctors involved in the treatment of the 45-year-old man, he was admitted to the hospital after he complained of severe watery diarrhoea. Executive Director at Epidemiology and Diseases Control Division Dr Bibek Kumar Lal informed that a team from EDCD and NPHL visited the patient’s house and met his family members.
“We didn’t find any symptoms of cholera in other members,” he added.
According to doctors, the man might have come in contact with cholera bacteria through contaminated water.
“We have collected three samples of the bottled water the family uses for drinking for lab tests The sample has already been provided to NPHL. It will provide us a report within a few days,” Dr Lal informed.
Coordinator of clinical research unit at the hospital Dr Sher Bahadur Pun said this was the first cholera case confirmed this year. “Usually cholera cases are reported in Nepal between July and October, but this year it was early,” he said.
“The country is also at high risk of cholera outbreak due to a steady increase in urban population density accompanied by an inadequate supply of safe drinking water and improved sanitation,” said Dr Lal adding, “The country faces floods and landslides during rainy season every year which often lead to the breakdown of the already fragile water and sanitation infrastructure. All these factors contribute to high possibility of cholera outbreak, which may be very challenging to prevent and control the disease,” he added.
In the year 2013, four cases of cholera were confirmed in Kathmandu valley while it was eight in 2015. Cholera cases had reached 169 in 2016.
“Sole efforts of the Ministry of Health and Population cannot help contain cholera outbreak.
Combined efforts of all stakeholders, including the Ministry of water supply, are required for this purpose,” said Dr Lal.
Doctors have advised all to drink safe water, avoid contaminated foods and to consult a doctor in case of symptoms such as severe watery diarrhoea, vomiting; painless and excessive watery diarrhoea, nausea and muscle cramp.
Four cholera cases were reported in the valley in 2013, eight in 2015 and 169 in 2016
A version of this article appears in print on May 08, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.