KATHMANDU, July 30: If the data provided by Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital (STIDH) is anything to go by, over 80 percent of patients visiting the hospital's out-patient department (OPD) have been suffering from Hong Kong flu and influenza virus.
Most of the patients suffering from those viruses have been coming to the Kathmandu-based hospital since last one week, officials at the Epidemiology and Disease Control division (EDCD) said, informed.
"We can say that the virus has been spreading rapidly in Kathmandu Valley," said Dr Sher Bahadur Pun of the STIDH.
He informed that even young people have been seriously affected by the virus.
According to Dr Pun, patients visiting the hospital have the symptoms of high fever, sore throat, dry cough and joint pain.
"This time, the infection seems to be severe than in the past. Even young people have been visiting the hospital in serious condition," informed Dr Pun.
Number of deaths from the virus is not known yet.
Doctors admit seriously ailing patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) and administer antibiotics. Dr Pun asked all not to take the infection lightly, as it can turn serious. Doctors have suggested avoiding exposure to crowd and infected people, as the disease is air borne.
"It is better to stay in isolation as the disease can pass through air, while coughing, sneezing or shaking hands," suggests Dr Pun.
The National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) under the Department of Health Services (DOHS) said that it has deployed two teams of lab technicians to collect samples from the disease-affected areas.
"We have deployed two teams to collect samples," Dr Geeta Shakya, director at the NPHL, informed. She said that the number of patients suffering from H3N1 virus, popularly known as Hong Kong flu, has gone up in the last few days. Director Shakya admitted that people residing in makeshift camps in quake-hit districts and in flood-displaced camps are at high risk of infection, as chances of spreading the virus in those places are always very high.