September 18, 2019 09:05 AM NPT
DAMAK, Sept 18: Dengue virus which entered Nepal for the first time in 2004 through an infected foreigner has now affected more than 5,000 people across the country.
According to the vector control officer and the focal person of dengue in Jhapa district, Jiwan Chaulagain, more than 390 million people become affected by dengue around the world each year and around 20,000 people die from the disease. The report presented by Chaulagain mentions that if timely action is taken through healthcare reforms, dengue-related deaths can be reduced by 2 percent.
Chaulagain added that dengue has increased 30 fold in the last 50 years in the world. According to the World Health Organization, 3.9 million people of more than 128 countries are at risk of dengue.
In Nepal, dengue was traced for the first time in a foreigner in 2004. In 2006, a few people in the tarai were affected by the disease and in 2010, a total of 917 people contracted dengue in various parts of the country. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the 1,527 and 2111 cases respectively were recorded. But in 2018, the number came down to 811. And in 2019, the virus has spread to Sunsari, Morang, Jhapa, Chitwan, Makawanpur and 11 districts of Gandaki province among others. Sunsari district alone has reported around 3,300 dengue patients so far.
To control the problem of dengue government has started 'search and destroy' campaign where people are encouraged to remove stagnant water and kill the larvae of dengue-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Chaulagain advised people to see doctor if they develop symptoms like fever, headache, pain in eyes, fatigue, nosebleed, nausea, and stool of relatively dark in color. He also advised the dengue-affected people to take medicines only when prescribed, get enough sleep, and take more liquid.
The dengue-carrying mosquito thrives in 20-30 degrees Celsius.