MoFALD sounds cholera high alert

Kathmandu, August 30

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development has issued a circular to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, District Development Committee of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur, Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City and all other 19 municipalities of the Valley to maintain high alert to control and prevent the spread of cholera.

“As the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division, Teku has already confirmed increase in the number of cholera cases in the Valley, concerned municipalities have been asked to make necessary arrangements to control and prevent the spread of the contagious disease as per the Good Governance (Management and Operation) Act, 2006,” read the circular.

Since cholera was first detected in Kalimati area on July 26, it has spread to more than a dozen places in the Valley, including Kuleshwor, Soalteemode, Kalanki, Rabi Bhawan, Naikap, Om Bahal, Naradevi, Chhetrapati, Mulpani and Patan.

Though the number of diarrhea patients being admitted to Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Diseases Hospital in Teku is gradually declining, the disease has yet to be brought under control.

Dr Sher Bahadur Pun said patients continue to visit the hospital with cholera symptoms such as cramping and vomiting. More than 60 cases of cholera were confirmed in the Valley. Some cases were also reported in Om Bahal and Chhetrapati areas, which were earlier unaffected.

More than 400 diarrhoea patients aged 5-74 with cholera symptoms have received treatment from STIH. Nearly 20 per cent patients admitted to the hospital tested positive for cholera this year compared to around 5 per cent last year. The male-female ratio of patients is nearly 55-45.

No death has been reported in connection with cholera so far, though. Cholera is caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.

14 water samples undrinkable

KATHMANDU: As many as 14 out of 15 water samples collected from cholera affected areas of the Kathmandu Valley have tested undrinkable. To make matters worse, water sample of a Teku-based well that was used by a cholera patient tested positive for bacterium Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes the contagious disease. The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division collected the water samples from the cholera affected areas for lab test after the contagious disease was reported in the Valley. The EDCD in collaboration with Nepal Water Supply Corporation advised locals not to use the well. Officials have appealed to all to use boiled or chlorine-treated water to prevent the disease and to visit the hospital as and when they develop any symptom of the disease. Use of unsafe water, poor sanitation and personal hygiene are the main reasons that cause the disease to spread during the rainy season.  The bacteria has a very short incubation period of two hours to five days. This can lead to death if untreated within 24 hours.