KATHMANDU, Feb 13: After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal, other infectious diseases have been overshadowed. As a result, despite the possibility of other reasons for fever, people are getting tested only for the coronavirus.
Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, chief of the Clinical Research Unit at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku, said that last year dengue patients were confused with the infection of the coronavirus while this year the same is happening with patients of scrub typhus.
According to Dr Pun, scrub typhus was found in two people who came to Teku Hospital to get tested for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus while it is confirmed in about a dozen samples tested at other hospitals as well. Dr Pun also clarified that this year, as in previous years, the scrub typhus infection may have been reported in the districts near the Valley as well. Therefore, he suggested people conduct the required tests instead of staying home and believing that they got COVID-19.
Similarly, Dr Pun also warned the health workers to stay cautious. “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, patients have come for a PCR test, despite having fever due to other reasons. However, they might be infected by other contagious diseases,” he said.
Likewise, according to Dr Pun, if the treatment of scrub typhus is delayed, the patient may even die. Therefore, he warned that patients suffering from fever can be infected not only with the coronavirus but also with scrub typhus and suggested being more cautious against the disease.
According to the medical unit of Bir Hospital, patients with scrub typhus have been coming to the hospital since last August. These patients are from Dhading, Nuwakot, Kavre, Sindhuli and other districts near the Kathmandu Valley.