POKHARA, Oct 3: As of September 25, the number of dengue-infected people in Tanahun was 1,714. That number reached 3,353 on Tuesday, eight days later. The dengue infection has intensified in Tanahun as the number has doubled within a week. Damauli, the headquarters of Tanahun, is now the most affected by dengue. Dengue is a disease transmitted by mosquito bites.
So far, the total number of dengue infected in Gandaki Province has reached 4,178. This number is the highest ever in the province. Although dengue infection was seen in different districts of the province last year, the number of infected people was not as high as it is now. Earlier, in 2019, the highest number of dengue infections was recorded at 2,650 in Gandaki Province.
This is only official government data. However, pharmacists claim that this number could be even higher. They say that because common people take medicine based on symptoms without testing, there is no accurate data of infected people.
According to Shankar Babu Adhikari, head of the District Health Office, Tanahun, at least 100 new dengue cases are emerging in the headquarters Damauli every day. “The infection doubled in the last week. The Damauli area has been more affected,” said Adhikari, “Control efforts are continuing. However, the infection has accelerated in the headquarters.” This year, three people have died due to dengue in Tanahun so far.
He said that the infection is more widespread in the residents of Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Byas Municipality, which is also the headquarters. “About 90 percent of patients are from the headquarters. The rest are residents of nearby villages," he said. "Dengue has been confirmed in 90 percent of the patients who came to the hospital with symptoms for testing.” He said that as the number of patients increases, there will be a shortage of beds in the hospitals as well.
Due to the increase in the number of patients, health workers from the provincial health directorate were deployed in the Damauli area for a week. According to Adhikari, five doctors and other health workers went to Damauli. They stayed in Damauli for a week and treated the patients. Similarly, Byas Municipality also assigned health workers to the district hospital. “The transmission was expected to be a little weaker. However, following increasing rain, the fear of infection has increased. There is a fear that mosquitoes that spread dengue will increase as rainwater freezes,” he said.
According to Adhikari, the dengue infection has increased significantly after September 11. Adhikari said that compared to the situation before September 11, the number of infected people is increasing every day. He said that since it was not possible to control dengue-spreading mosquitoes by cleaning the open areas, they had also launched a campaign to 'search and destroy' mosquitoes in households. “Even though the awareness program was continued, the disease did not come under control. In urban areas the infection increased even more. The residents of the urban areas did not adopt strict awareness in control,” he said.
Bhadgaon is most affected by dengue in Byas. Similarly, the main market areas of Damauli are in wards 2, 3 and 4. He said that the infection is less in rural areas within the municipality. Apart from Damauli, awareness programs have been conducted in Shukla Gandaki and Bhimad areas due to the fear of dengue spread, Adhikari said. However, the infection rate in Shukla Gandaki and Bhimad areas is very low, Adhikari said. "The situation is worse in the city than in the villages," he said.
According to the Gandaki Province Health Directorate, in 2019, dengue was seen in 2,650 people in Gandaki Province. That infection was seen in 159 people in 2020, 95 in 2021 and 2,380 in 2022.
“This year, the infection has increased a little more. The mosquitoes that spread dengue have spread a lot,” said Suraj Gurau, spokesperson for the Ministry of Social Development and Health of Gandaki Province, “Damauli area of Tanahun has been affected a little more. Tanahun is the most affected.”
He also said that the number of patients in the province was higher this year compared to the previous year. According to the health workers, such mosquitoes multiply in places where water freezes in flower gardens, pots, ACs, refrigerators, roofs, and can remain for a year. Gurau said that there is still fear that the infection will increase as it is raining.
To stop the spread of the dengue infection in Tanahun, the provincial government mobilized health workers. Apart from that, the necessary test kits have also been sent, the spokesperson for the ministry said. "Finding and destroying mosquitoes is the strongest basis to prevent this infection, it has infected many people," he said, "If everyone is aware, the infection will be reduced."
Especially rain water storage tanks, tin cans, old tires, empty drums, vases, pots, water tanks etc are infested by mosquitoes. Therefore, doctors have said that this disease spreads during the rainy season. According to doctors, even though dengue is an infection, it causes high fever, joint pain, and bone pain. Similarly, doctors say that there is a possibility of pain around the eyeballs, nausea, vomiting, reluctance to eat, spots of blood on the skin, bleeding from the nose, gums, and other parts of the body.