Dengue making its way uphill

Published On: September 4, 2019 07:55 AM NPT By: GANESH BISHU

Climate change, movement of people are blamed

BIRENDRANAGAR, Sept 4: Dengue, which was common only in the tarai plains in the past, has started to surface in the hills also. According to Dr Kiran KC of the Karnali provincial hospital, the situation is not alarming for now, but precautionary measures need to be taken against mosquito bites. 

“Till sometime back, dengue was to be seen only in the plains. It is now climbing uphill and this is  not a good sign,” said Dr KC. The situation can deteriorate fast if safety measures are not taken, he added.

The provincial hospital has detected two dengue cases so far although three to four people per day have been coming in for checkups of late following symptoms. “People are coming to hospital with headache, fever and dizziness and this is worrisome,” Dr KC stated. 

The mosquito whose bite spreads dengue breeds in stagnant water and it spreads very fast if there is no intervention on time.

Dengue has been reported to have gone ‘out of control’ despite measures taken to contain it. Dr ND Poudel, also at the provincial hospital, says the hill districts should start taking the problem seriously. 

“It has already arrived here in the hills from the plains where it is common,” he noted.  He informed that suspected cases  are under the supervision of health workers, adding that with timely care it cannot do much harm to a person.  

“The patients are under strict supervision and it takes some time to confirm whether it is  dengue or not,” he said. 

Dr Poudel advises keeping one’s house and surroundings clean to ward off dengue. “Dengue could be deadly for persons with weak immunity,” he said.

According to the doctors, climate change could be one of the major reason behind the surfacing of dengue in  higher altitudes. Frequent mobility of people from one place to another also spreads the malady . 

“In  recent years, mosquitoes have been  seen in larger numbers in  Karnali zone. They are noticed even in the colder hills and this could be an effect of climate change,” said Dr Poudel. “Similarly, people infected with dengue can also cause it to spread.”

Shyam Lal Acharya of the Health and Education Section at the provincial Ministry of Social Development said mosquitoes that bite in the daytime have been noticed in the Karnali  these days. Dengue mosquitoes are daytime biters. 

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