Dengue transmission continues unchecked in DharanAround 150 people were diagnosed with the mosquito-borne disease on a daily basis until August third week, according to health officials.
Authorities concerned are yet to contain an outbreak of dengue, a mosquito-bite infectious disease, in Dharan of Sunsari district.
According to the health unit of Dharan Sub-Metropolitan City, the dengue infection rate has remained at 70 to 72 percent over the past two and half months.
“Efforts are underway to control the dengue outbreak. However, the infection rate is still high in Dharan,” said Umesh Mehata, chief of the sub-metropolis’s health unit. According to him, the sub-metropolitan city has continued a ‘search and destroy’ campaign to destroy the mosquito larvae in the city.
Health camps are being run in various places of Dharan while BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences has set up a 30-bed separate hospital to handle the increasing cases of dengue. Various other private health institutions have also been providing dengue treatment in Dharan.
Free-of-cost health checkups and distribution of medicines are underway through ward offices, the Dharan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dharan City Hall and the old hospital at Chhatachowk. “We give patients paracetamol, rehydration salt and vitamins,” said Mehata.
According to Mehata, around 150 people were diagnosed with dengue on a daily basis until August third week. On average 100 people have been infected with dengue daily over the past three days.
A total of 20,767 tests were conducted in Dharan over the past four months and 14,856 of them tested positive for dengue infection.
Dharan has been the epicentre of dengue in the country this year. As many as 13 people—seven women and six men—died from the disease in Dharan. Three of the deceased are children. Ward 2, 5, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, and 18 have been hit hardest by the dengue outbreak.
Besides the sub-metropolis, the ward offices, tole [locality] reform committees and some social organisations have been carrying out mosquito search and destroy campaigns in Dharan. However, these campaigns have been largely ineffective in controlling the dengue outbreak.
“The infection rate could be decreased to 10 to 15 percent if a public health emergency was declared in Dharan and worked accordingly,” said a public health expert at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences requesting anonymity. The dengue outbreak, according to him, could be contained if all efforts were concentrated on controlling the disease.
The District Administration Office of Sunsari recommended the provincial as well as the federal government to declare a public health emergency in Dharan. But the Dharan Sub-Metropolis asserted that there was no need to declare an emergency. Dharan faced an outbreak of dengue in 2019 as well, with around 11,000 people infected.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease transmitted by female Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The same vector also transmits chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika, according to the World Health Organisation. Dengue-transmitting mosquitoes breed in clean water and bite people in daylight. Uncovered water tanks and discarded objects such as plastic cups and bottles could be breeding grounds for dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
Mild to high fever, severe muscle pain, rashes, severe headache and pain in the eyes are some symptoms of dengue. Doctors advise that those with these symptoms should seek immediate treatment. While there is no specific cure for the disease, early detection and access to proper medical care can lower fatalities.
A dengue patient recuperating at the Purano Hospital at Chhatachowk in Dharan, in this recent photo. A local official said around 100 people have been infected with dengue daily over the past three days. POST PHOTO: PRADEEP MENYANGBO
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