January 10, 2018 02:36 AM NPT
By: Janak KC
JAJARKOT, Jan 10: Viral flu has claimed the lives of two more people in Jajarkot district, taking the total death toll to 12. Over 2,700 residents of the remote district are estimated to be infected by the virus while only around 700 of them have received medical treatment, health officials said.
The flu started about three weeks ago in Juichande Rural Municipality and the surrounding settlements in the western part of the district. Especially wards 1, 2 and 3 of the rural municipality have high number of the infected.
Dr Pawan Shakya, who is deployed in the district to provide services to the patients of the affected areas, confirmed the recent deaths of two people. The deceased have been identified as Lal Bahadur Bhandari, 54, of Rawalgaun, Junichande Rural Municipality-3 and one-month infant Bhupendra Nepali of Maugan of Junichande Rural Municipality-2.
The infant died on Monday while the other victim died the next day on Tuesday. Bhandari died from fever and diarrhea while the infant is suspected to have been infected by the deadlier H1N1 virus. Dr Shakya informed that sample of nasal mucus and phlegm of the infant has been sent to the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division in Teku of Kathmandu for testing and verification.
Symptoms of viral fever include common cold, fever, headache and diarrhea among others. With the number of people suffering from the viral infection on the rise, health workers have sounded alarm on the severity of the issue.
“If the test of the infant's sample if positive for the H1N1 virus, the whole villages and its surrounding settlements are in for a great epidemic,” said Dr Shakya.
The number of health workers deployed from the primary health centers and Jajarkot District Hospital and other bodies are not enough to tackle the growing cases of the infection. After sensing that the prevalence of the viral fever is much higher, the district hospital sent more health workers and medicines to the affected areas on Tuesday.
Before the reinforcement, a team of 10 health workers, including a doctor and health workers of Nepal Army, was tasked with the responsibility of controlling the situation. Medical Officer Dr Bhupendra Prakash Malla of the district hospital is leading the additional team of health workers, including the ones from Nepal Red Cross Society.
According to health workers, the viral fever started from wards 2 and 3 of Junichande Rural Municipality and is currently spreading fast.