KATHMANDU, Sept 23: Hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley have reported a rising number of dengue patients over the past two weeks. Some individuals seeking medical attention for uncontrollable fever have been diagnosed with dengue.
According to doctors, they are treating patients with undiagnosed fever based on their symptoms. Out of 21 people admitted to the observation ward of Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj in a week, 10 have confirmed dengue, and 11 patients with dengue-like symptoms are under treatment. The condition of one patient is serious. According to the hospital, four percent of the patients have severe dengue.
Symptoms of dengue include joint pain, high fever, and headache. Compared to two weeks ago, the issue of dengue fever has worsened, according to Dr. Yogendra Man Shakya. Treatment is initiated only after patients exhibit low platelet counts and their fever doesn't subside. Among those admitted with fever, some had to be taken to the ICU due to pneumonia. During one week, 21 dengue patients have been admitted.
Dr. Surendra Lal Shrestha, a physician at Bir Hospital, confirmed dengue in eight to ten patients daily. The hospital's outpatient department sees 100 patients daily, with most seeking treatment after their white blood cell counts have dropped. Such patients are admitted and given white blood cell transfusions.
According to the report from Sukraraj Tropical and Communicable Disease Hospital, four to five dengue patients arrive daily at the two hospitals' emergency rooms for treatment. An 80-year-old woman has been admitted to the ICU. Dr. Pratik Wagle of Patan Institute of Health Sciences noted that patients with symptoms of flu and dengue have been coming in for the past two weeks.
Director of Sukraraj Tropical and Communicable Disease Hospital, Dr. Manisha Rawal, said that hospitals have reported patients coming from different parts of Kathmandu.
Undiagnosed fever could be Chikungunya
Shukraraj Tropical and Communicable Disease Hospital Research Branch Head Dr. Sher Bahadur Pun has speculated that the undiagnosed fever patients seen in the capital may not have dengue but Chikungunya (a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by the chikungunya virus).
He mentioned that the symptoms of Chikungunya are similar to dengue, and both are likely transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the dengue virus. In the case of Chikungunya, other symptoms similar to dengue may occur, including red spots on the body, nausea, unrelenting fever, and reduced appetite. If Chikungunya cases increase, there's a risk of organ damage and even death for the patient.
Head of National Public Health Laboratory, Dr. Runa Jha, informed that limited samples were tested for Chikungunya, and none of the tested samples were confirmed to be Chikungunya virus. "Several samples have been tested from within the valley, but they have not been confirmed," she said. Communicable diseases that occur annually in Nepal often go unreported due to insufficient testing and diagnosis.
What to do if you suspect dengue?
If you experience symptoms such as vomiting, stomach ache, and fever, consult a healthcare professional promptly. If testing confirms dengue, hospitalization and treatment are crucial. Dengue infection can be managed and treated effectively with early medical intervention.