October 24, 2017 02:30 AM NPT
By: Rekha Bhusal
BHAIRAHAWA, Oct 24: Dengue fever is fast spreading in Bhairahawa. During the last one week alone 27 patients were admitted at the Lumbini Zonal Hospital with dengue fever symptoms. According to the hospital sources, prior to that, the hospital was providing treatment for the fever to 64 patients. With the last week's addition, the number of patients suffering from dengue fever and that approached the hospital for treatment has climbed to 91. Doctors have warned that it could turn into epidemic if due action is not taken to keep to bring it under control. In their warning, doctors have pointed that the weather would remain favorable for the fever to spread for few weeks more.
Three months dengue patients were first noticed in the district. Seven people infected by the fever had been admitted to the zonal hospital then. Since then, the number of dengue-infected patients has grown steadily. According to Laxmi Raj Regmi, information officer at the hospital, the outbreak is quite serious. “It is not a normal thing. The situation is critical. Of the 91 patients that were admitted in this hospital, most severe cases have been referred to Kathmandu,” he said. “If necessary preventive measures are not taken to contain the spread of the disease, it might lead to the outbreak of an epidemic,” he added.
Most of the infected patients are from Butwal sub-metropolitan. According to locals, the reason might be the lack of proper sanitation. “There is poor hygiene around here along with lack infrastructure as well as awareness among the residents,” said one of the patients in the hospital who hailed from the metropolis. He added that he came to know about the reasons for the spread of dengue only after coming to the hospital. “I had heard of it earlier, but I did not take it seriously. Our markets and houses, both are not that clean. And they say Dengue can spread like wildfire if it gets suitable atmosphere,” he added.
Regmi confirmed that around 60 percent of the infected patients are from Butwal metropolis. Besides it, dengue has spread in Siddharthanagar, Tilottoma, Devdaha and Sainamaina areas, he stated. “Other patients are from the rest of the areas. We can figure out that it has spread across the district or beyond,” Regmi said.
Symptoms of dengue infection are fever, pain in body and eyelid and fatigue, among others. The dangerous thing about the mosquito that spreads dengue is that they lay egg in clean water. This quite confuses people.
“The mosquitoes become very active during the morning and evening. They lay egg in clean, stagnant water,” said Dr Nandu Pathak, a physician at the hospital. “This is a typical mosquito and as in any other case, prevention is better than cure,” he noted.
Pathak added that patients infected by dengue if they do not get medical attention on time, lose their immunity power after some time. Their health start deteriorating and it gets severe.
“If they do not get treatment on time, it takes serious toll on their health. For instance, they might suffer from pneumonia, multi-organ failure, bleeding from teeth, nose, and traces of blood could begin to show in their urine or stool,” he stated. “The best solution is to prevent it beforehand. Take all necessary steps to prevent such mosquitoes to lay egg. And in case one is infected than they should be rushed to hospital as soon as possible,” he added.
He also urged concerned authorities to spray insecticides to kill the mosquito's larva and also to launch awareness campaigns.
District Public Health Office informed that some steps have been taken to combat dengue outbreak. According to Kedarnath Sah, Vector Control Inspector of the office, door to door awareness program has been launched in Butwal. “In the wake of the recent increase in dengue spread, we have started public awareness programs. People have been told not to keep stagnant water around their home. Potholes and small pools on the street and alleys have been filled. We have been trying to destroy the mosquito's larva by identifying areas that it could use to breed,” he elaborated. “However, these programs have not been launched in areas outside the Butwal Sub Metropolitan City,” he added.
Dengue had also created havoc in Rupandehi six years ago. As per the zonal hospital's data, at the time 290 people were infected by it and of them, four had died. Health department had taken serious initiatives to get things under control. “Dengue has been detected here almost every year. Six years ago it severely affected many people and this year too, it is spreading gradually,” Sah said.