KATHAMNDU, Dec 1: Health experts have pointed out that Nepal is also at the potential risk of the respiratory disease that has been spreading among Chinese children over the past two weeks. International media have reported that hospitals are full of patients with the disease, which has spread to the surrounding areas of Beijing. The disease and its cause have remained unidentified.
Symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing have been observed in children. Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria, Covid-19 virus, pathogens, influenza and sinusitis virus were found during examination of the patients.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also shown interest in the disease that has spread in China. The WHO has asked China for a report on the disease. The WHO has stated that children are more affected by this disease among all age groups and urged everyone to be aware.
After the sudden spread of the respiratory disease like pneumonia in China, the Indian government also issued a notice and appealed to its health institutions to be prepared and citizens to be alert. The Government of Nepal has not yet issued an official notice about this.
Earlier, Nepal was also badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic which originated in China. Currently, Nepal is also at the risk of the unidentified disease that has spread in China. Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, coordinator of the Research Unit at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, said, "The Covid-19 pandemic has affected Nepal. It cannot be said that the disease spreading in China will not affect Nepal." According to him, the disease that has spread in Beijing and the surrounding areas is in the process of spreading further.
Dr Samir Kumar Adhikari, chief of the Health Emergency and Disaster Management Unit, said that since China is a neighboring country and there is cross-border movement between the two countries, Nepal is also at the risk of the disease spreading there. The world has become smaller in terms of transportation. An infectious disease found in one place can easily spread around the world, he said. He added that due to the fact that it has been confirmed that Nepal cannot remain unaffected by the disease spreading in the neighboring countries, caution should be taken. The official said that until detailed information about the nature, effects, and causes of the disease that is currently spreading in China, the extent of its impact cannot be assessed.
Head of the Therapeutic Division of the Ministry of Health and Population and infectious disease specialist Dr Anup Raj Bastola said that until the detailed description of the respiratory disease spreading in China is available, the risk cannot be measured. He said, "There should be detailed information about the specific cause of the disease, only then can we say how much risk there is in Nepal."
Director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division Dr Rudra Marasini said that the government is unsure about the risk of respiratory diseases that have been spreading in China. "There is no precise evaluation of its impact in Nepal," he said. According to Marsaini, the Division has not yet issued any notice for advance warning.