Influenza outbreak confirmed in Bajura

Bajura, February 13

It has been confirmed that the outbreak of common cold in Bajura’s Himali Rural Municipality about three weeks ago was caused by an influenza virus.

The confirmation came following test results of spittle samples sent from the outbreak-hit area to Kathmandu-based National Public Health Laboratory, according to District Public Health Office Bajura Chief Dayakrishna Panta.

Bajura DPHO had sent four saliva samples to the Teku-based laboratory for the test.

“While two of the four samples tested positive for Influenza A and one for Influenza B, the other samples tested negative for these viruses,” Panta said.

“Though the detected viruses aren’t deadly, they can spread to others and take the form of an epidemic or pandemic, just like in 2009 when it spread the world over,” he added.

Earlier, in wake of the outbreak, local and provincial governments had deployed separate teams of health workers to the outbreak-hit area to prevent the contagion. “Health workers deployed in outbreak-hit villages treated some 1,170 persons who had been taken ill due to common cold

and cough in one week’s time, but the outbreak is yet to come under complete control,” said Chief District Officer Ganga Prasad Neupane.

It is important to note that such outbreak of seasonal common cold and cough this year isn’t new as remote villages of Bajura have battled such outbreaks in the past as well.

Meanwhile, DPHO Chief Panta said test results of the spittle samples had made it easier for his office to deal with the outbreak.