Scrub typhus, dengue cases rise in LumbiniAt least 700 fever patients diagnosed with scrub typhus at Tansen-based United Mission Hospital in last three months.
Cases of scrub typhus and dengue are on the rise in several districts of Lumbini Province.
The data at major health institutions in the province show that the number of scrub typhus and dengue cases is increasing at an alarming rate in three hill districts of Lumbini—Palpa, Gulmi and Arghakhanchi.
According to Dronacharya Bhusal, the medical record officer at United Mission Hospital in Tansen, as many as 710 fever patients who visited the hospital in the last three months were diagnosed with scrub typhus.
“Laboratory tests of 1,847 patients confirmed around 710 scrub typhus cases within this fiscal year,” said Bhusal. According to him, 286 scrub typhus patients were admitted to the hospital for treatment.
A total of 403 patients had been diagnosed with scrub typhus, an infectious mite-borne disease that is caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, in the United Mission Hospital in the fiscal year 2020/21.
Likewise, 16 patients of scrub typhus were admitted at Lumbini Medical College, another major health institution in Palpa district, in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
Employees at the District Health Office in Palpa suspect that the number of scrub typhus cases could be even higher in the district.
“The number of scrub typhus cases could be higher, as most health institutions keep records of only those who have been admitted at hospitals,” said Narayan Chaudhary, the chief at the health office. According to him, the office does not have the data on all scrub typhus and dengue patients.
Scrub typhus cases are on the rise in Butwal-based Lumbini Provincial Hospital as well.
According to health workers, most scrub typhus patients are children below 10 years old.
Dr Netra Rana, a consultant pediatrician at the hospital, said that around 10 children suffering from fever visit the hospital on a daily basis. Among them, three are diagnosed with scrub typhus.
Scrub typhus is transmitted by a mite that feeds on forest and rural rodents, including rats, voles and field mice. Health workers warn all guardians to be vigilant and protect their children from mite bites.
According to Dr Sudarshan Thapa, a senior physician at the provincial hospital, some of the symptoms of scrub typhus are fever, headache, muscle pain and diarrhoea, among others.
“It is a curable disease. But a patient may die if deprived of timely treatment,” Thapa warned.
Similarly, cases of dengue are also on the rise in the province. The United Mission Hospital in Tansen has reported 51 dengue cases in the last three months. The hospital had received just one dengue case in the last fiscal year.
“Among 808 people who underwent laboratory tests, 51 tested positive for dengue within this fiscal year. Twenty-two of them were admitted to the hospital. Most of the patients are from Palpa, Gulmi and Arghakhanchi districts,” said Bhusal.
Meanwhile, a people’s representative from Palpa died of dengue in Butwal last week. According to the District Health Office in Palpa, 57-year-old Hum Bahadur Sinjali, the ward member of Rambha Rural Municipality-1, died at Gautam Buddha Community Hospital in Butwal in the course of treatment.