Dengue, chikungunya cases in Valley

Kathmandu, September 27

At least 20 people, including residents of Kathmandu Valley, have tested positive for dengue virus, according to National Public Health Laboratory.

The government’s central laboratory has also confirmed that of the 499 samples, at least two, including a resident of Kathmandu, tested positive for chikungunya.

Both dengue and chikungunya are transmitted through Aedes-aegypti and Aedes-albopictus mosquitoes. The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division of the Department of Health Services, which is responsible for controlling disease outbreak across the country, said cases of the two vector-borne diseases were also reported from Chitwan.

“We don’t have a cumulative figure, but cases have been reported from other districts outside the Valley,” Chief of epidemiology section at the EDCD Dr Gunanidhi Sharma told The Himalayan Times.

He said all district hospitals were asked to send reports of dengue infection to the EDCD.

“We have alerted health workers and have directed them to send reports of infection regularly,” he added.

Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, meanwhile, stated that at least three women from Kathmandu Valley who were suffering from high fever had tested positive for dengue. “All three cases were locally transmitted. No one had a history of going outside the Valley,” said Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, a virologist at STIDH.

According to him, local transmission of such diseases is alarming. “Concerned health authorities should take precautionary measures on time to control possible epidemic in the Valley,” he added.

Dr Pun said at least five dengue patients were admitted to STIDH in the last nine days alone.

Health workers have warned of a dengue epidemic, as several studies carried out by EDCD found significant numbers of dengue infected mosquitoes in Kathmandu Valley.

Last year, more than 12 residents of the Valley were infected with dengue virus, according to an EDCD report.

Mild to high fever, severe headache, pain in eyes and muscles and rashes are some symptoms of dengue.

The EDCD said it has alerted health officials throughout the country on how to control outbreak of dengue.

EDCD Director Dr Bhim Acharya said adequate medicines had been sent to all health facilities across the country, mainly in the Tarai region and necessary training was being imparted to health workers, volunteers and community workers.