Kathmandu, September 10
Senior leader of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Bamdev Gautam has tested positive for dengue, a mosquito-borne disease, which is rapidly spreading across the country and has claimed six lives so far.
Gautam had visited Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital yesterday morning after complaining of fever. “He came to the hospital with fever and flu like symptoms,” said Anup Bastola, consultant tropical medicine physician and spokesperson for Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku.
“He underwent a blood test called non-structural protein 1 (NS1) and it confirmed that he was infected with acute dengue,” Bastola said. “However, the disease is in early phase.” Gautam is resting at home, his wife Tulasi Thapa, who is also an NCP lawmaker, told THT.
Gautam is the third high-profile personality after Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development Chakrapani Khanal and renowned ophthalmologist Sanduk Ruit also contracted the disease this season.
Khanal was admitted to Grande Hospital in Kathmandu after testing positive for dengue. He was discharged yesterday. Dr Ruit, who was admitted to Norvic Hospital in Kathmandu on Friday, is still undergoing treatment.
Dengue cases have been detected in 56 of 77 districts. A total of 3,899 people had tested positive for the mosquito-borne disease throughout the country till September 9, according to Epidemiology and Disease Control Division.
The largest number of dengue patients has been detected in Chitwan (1,036) followed by Kaski (715) and Makawanpur (624). Dengue has also spread rapidly in Kathmandu valley, where 319 people have tested positive for the disease.
At least 400 patients visit Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Kathmandu for dengue tests daily. Of these, over 150 have been testing positive. Dengue tests are also performed at the National Public Health Laboratory in Kathmandu. The national referral laboratory conducts tests on around 200 blood samples everyday, of which 40 per cent test positive for dengue.
A version of this article appears in print on September 11, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.