Sunsari, June 3

With the dengue outbreak in Dharan appearing to be going out of hand, a team from the Health Service Department in Kathmandu arrived here today to monitor dengue-affected area.

So far, 75 persons are confirmed to have contracted the disease here. Earlier, as containing the outbreak looked difficult due to resources crunch at the local level, Dharan sub-metropolis had called the provincial and federal governments for help.

Today, the HSD team led by its Director General Gunaraj Lohani monitored the worst affected Dharan sub-metropolis-15.

The team will be staying in Dharan till tomorrow.

Dr Samir Adhikari, chief of Communicable Disease Control Division and a member of the monitoring team, attributed the outbreak to the openly stored drinking water. “As the mosquito that spreads dengue lives in clean water and people suffering from water crisis here are keeping drinking water without covering it, the mosquito has thrived and spread the outbreak,” he said, adding the mosquito causing the disease bites during daytime only.

In view of the outbreak, the sub-metropolis has asked residents in the affected area to get rid of tyres, open bottles and plastic-related items in their surroundings and make sure that drinking water is not kept openly. “In view of the severity of the outbreak, we have provided 500 kits for free blood tests to BP Koirala Institute of Health and Sciences for those who could have contracted the disease,” said the sub-metropolis acting Mayor Manju Bhandari Subedi.

Similarly, the sub-metropolis has also started fogging to kill mosquitoes. Some four fogging machines are being used for the purpose. Likewise, a joint rapid response team, including expert doctors and staff of the BPKIHS and staffers of the Health Department at the sub-metropolis has also been set up. The team is teaching ways to find the habitat of the mosquito to destroy its eggs and larvae.

According to BPKIHS Director Dr Gauri Shankar Sah, it is preparing to set up health desks in emergency and paediatric wards to control the disease. “As for the treatment of dengue patients, a separate ward with ventilator has been put up,” he said.