Dhangadi, August 30
Seti Zonal Hospital in Dhangadi has reportedly seen a sharp rise in the number of scrub typhus patients of late.
According to Bisan Singh, a doctor at the health facility, blood test showed that 16 out of 22 patients contracted scrub typhus this fiscal. “This is the first time such a large number of patients were seen with the disease in such a short time,” said Yashoda Dhakal, medical ward in-charge of the hospital.
A total of 58 people were found to have been infected by the disease while examining 96 patients in the district last fiscal.
Dhakal said that they didn’t have any option but to send the blood samples to the capital due to lack of equipment in the health facility.
“The rise in the number of scrub typhus cases is not a good sign. The District Public health Office must introduce immediate awareness raising programmes to prevent the disease from spreading,” said Medical Superintendent Surya Bahadur Gurung.
Scrub typhus is spread through infected fleas and mites. These insects live on different animals and even on tree leaves.
Patients of the disease exhibit symptoms such as headache, fever, red spots around neck, and sweat a lot, among others. “People need to be careful when handling animals such as cows, oxen, buffaloes, goats, and dogs,” said Gurung.
Health workers have advised people to apply cream while grazing cattle and collecting fodder, to wear clothes that cover the entire body, and use a rug or a carpet while sitting on the floor.
A version of this article appears in print on August 31, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.