Viral fever cases up in Province 2, say health workersHealth institutions in all eight districts are seeing a rising number of patients with coronavirus-like symptoms.
Abdhesh Kumar Jha
All eight districts of Province 2 have reported a rise in cases of fever, headache and the common cold, health workers say. Health institutions across the province are seeing a daily increase in patients with Covid-19-like symptoms and viral fever since mid-July.
Around 150 residents of Maitagadhi Village in Rajbiraj Municipality-10, Saptari are suffering from fever, common cold and body ache, among other symptoms, for the last three to four days.
Local authorities have started sending health workers to villages to treat patients and gauge the situation.
“We have organised a health camp in the village from Friday. A team of health workers are currently in the village to treat patients,” said Shambhu Prasad Yadav, mayor of Rajbiraj Municipality.
Other parts of the district are also reporting a surge in fever patients, according to the District Health Office in Saptari.
“At least one member of each family is suffering from fever, common cold and body pain, among other health issues, in Saptari. We are seeing a huge surge in the number of fever patients, mostly in the rural parts of the district,” said Duniyalal Yadav, chief at the health office.
Despite the increase in the number of patients with coronavirus-like symptoms, the local authorities and health institutions in the district are yet to initiate Covid-19 testing in the villages.
“The resurgence of coronavirus is imminent if we look at the increase in the number of patients with symptoms similar to that of the virus. Patients are found suffering from fever, common cold and body pain, among other health issues. We can rule out Covid-19 infection only after conducting tests,” said Dr Ranjit Kumar Jha, medical superintendent at Gajendra Narayan Singh Hospital in Rajbiraj.
But the hospital has yet to test the patients for coronavirus.
“We haven’t been able to conduct PCR tests because the only PCR machine at the hospital is out of order,” Jha said.
Health workers at Kalaiya Hospital in Bara say they have been flooded with fever cases for the last few weeks. The flow of patients has increased in both government and private health institutions, health workers say.
According to the doctors of Kalaiya Hospital, cases of typhoid and viral fever are also being reported from various villages these days.
“Kalaiya Hospital has been receiving 150 to 200 patients on a daily basis. Among them, almost half are patients of viral fever,” said Gaurav Mahato, acting medical superintendent of Kalaiya Hospital.
Children, women and senior citizens are the most affected, local residents say.
According to the data of the hospital, five out of 53 swab samples tested positive for Covid-19 in Kalaiya Hospital in the last three days.
“The patients were advised to stay in home isolation, as they were not in need of hospitalisation,” said Mahato.
The District Hospital in Malangawa and other health institutions in Sarlahi are also receiving a surging number of patients with fever and the common cold. Dr Nawal Kishor Jha, acting medical superintendent of the hospital, says the summer season has seen an increase in patients with viral fever.
“Five percent of the total collected swab samples test positive for coronavirus on a daily basis,” said Jha. “The rest of the patients are suffering from viral fever, which is a seasonal disease. But we should not be complacent. The risk of coronavirus infection is still high.”
Viral fever cases have also increased in Dhanusha district since last week.
Binod Bhandari, a resident of Sita Chowk in Janakpur, and his wife had been suffering from a high fever for the past few days. Upon visiting the hospital, the couple were told that they were suffering from viral fever.
“My wife and I were suffering from fever and cold. We took paracetamol, but our temperature did not lower, so we visited a hospital,” Bhandari said. “Doctors at Janakpur Hospital told us that we are suffering from viral fever.”
Similarly, Narayani Hospital in Parsa is receiving 25 to 30 patients with “Influenza A” fever on a daily basis.
According to doctors at the hospital, most of the patients have a fever, loss of appetite and body pain, among other health issues.
“Patients between 20 and 60 years are found suffering from Influenza A. We are only conducting PCR tests on coronavirus suspects,” said Dr Uday Narayan Singh, chief at the Emergency Department of the hospital.
One-and-a-half weeks ago, five swab samples were sent to Teku Laboratory in Kathmandu for verification.
“The lab report verified the disease as Influenza A,” said Singh.
According to the data of the Ministry of Social Development in Province 2, there are currently 442 active Covid-19 cases in the province. Twelve new Covid-19 cases were reported in the province on Friday, the ministry data showed.
(Om Prakash Thakur in Sarlahi, Laxmi Sah in Bara and Shankar Acharya in Parsa contributed reporting.)