Kathmandu, September 23

Ten dengue patients are undergoing treatment at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku. Most of the patients admitted to the hospital were referred from Lalbandi, Sarlahi The patients were admitted with high grade fever and low white blood cells count, but blood tests showed they had contracted dengue, said Consultant Tropical Medicine Physician at STIDH Dr Anup Bastola.

Dengue is a vector borne disease transmitted by the bite of a mosquito infected with dengue virus serotypes. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary vector of dengue in Nepal. The virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected female mosquitoes.

After virus incubation for four to 10 days, an infected mosquito is capable of transmitting the virus for the rest of its life. People suffering from dengue have symptoms like high grade fever, severe headache, retro-orbital pain (pain behind the eyes), pain in muscles, bone pain, (break bone fever) rashes and back pain, among others.

There are four serotypes of dengue — Dengue I, II, III and IV. Those who have already suffered from one kind of serotype of dengue are unlikely to suffer from the same serotype. But if the person suffers from a different serotype from that of the earlier s/he has been infected with there are chances of severe dengue in patients.

Aedes aegypti mosquito lives in urban habitats and breeds mostly in man-made containers. Unlike other mosquitoes this mosquito is a day-time feeder. Its peak biting periods are early in the morning and in the evening before dusk. Female mosquito bites multiple people during each feeding period. Severe dengue is potentially a deadly complication due to plasma leaking, fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding, or organ impairment.

To prevent the infection, doctors have advised to keep environment clean, destroy and search mosquito breeding areas, use nets and apply mosquito repellents.

Last year, the disease was reported in more than 1,500 people across the country.