HUMLA, April 30: A mystery disease, which has been terrorizing the locals of Tanjakot Rural Municipality in Humla for the past three weeks, has killed 10 people so far. More than 200 people are undergoing treatment for the unknown illness.
The death toll climbed to 10 with the death of Pabitra Bohora, 62, of Tanjakot-5 on Monday.
Those dying of the unknown illness earlier include Kushuma Rithal, 70, Surjit Khadka, 60, and Birdal Rithal of ward 1 and Range Koli, 55, and Sunkesha Sunar, 5, of ward 2 of the local unit. Similarly, Ammakali Malla, 75, Bajjire Sunar,75, Laxshya Sunar,55, and 10 months old child Sanjeev Thapa from ward 2 also fell prey to the yet-to-be-identified disease.
Auxiliary Health Worker (AHW) Moti Lal Jaisi of Maila Health Post informed Republica that most victims including Bohora were suffering from asthma. This disease started taking its toll on the lives of the people here since April 8. On Sunday, Karnali Province deployed a team of doctors led by Dr KN Poudel along with Tekraj Bhattarai, Keshav Adhikari and other health workers to the site in an army helicopter.
Dr Manoj Timalsina of Ratamata Health Center of Mugu also reached Tanjakot on Sunday and started treating the patients by conducting a camp at Maila Health Post along with other doctors. According to AHW Jaisi, around 138 patients were treated under the open sky on that day. Three different teams of doctors have been deployed in the area to control the spread of the disease.
These different teams have scattered themselves in different wards to make sure no that patient dies due to the lack of treatment. Going by the symptoms of the illness, health experts suspect it to be a seasonal flu. According to Poudel, in order to diagnose the disease, preparations are underway to collect throat swabs of patients and send them for lab test in Surkhet.
Meanwhile, in order to ascertain the disease, a team of four expert doctors from Mugu and Surkhet reached Tanjakot on Monday. The team will be returning to Surkhet immediately after collecting the throat swabs of the patients tomorrow. Only after a lab test, it will be confirmed whether the disease is influenza or something else. Especially the children and elderly have been affected by the illness.