Mystery illness claims 9 in a week

Dipayal, July 23:

A mystery disease that has been stalking Dhuli VDC-6 and 9 of the remote far-western district of Bajhang for the past one week has claimed nine persons so far. Dozens of others have been affected by the disease.

The acting chief district officer of Bajhang, Chandra Prasad Gaire, told this daily over telephone that the dead included eight children, between the ages of one and seven years, and a 44-year-old woman. The symptoms of the disease are headache, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea. The two wards of the VDC, 22 miles away from the district headquarters of Chainpur, have been hit the most.

A health team led by Dr Mohmmed Sarul Hoda has been sent to the affected areas after news of the disease came in today, Gaire said. Twenty-two persons had died of diarrhoea in Dhuli and Bungal VDCs in the district two years ago.

Medicines are in short supply in the far western region since the last three weeks. Locals accused the government of not paying proper attention to their plight.

The far-western regional police office said a police team has been sent to the affected areas to help the needy.