Health

Disease control office alerts Valley’s local units of possible dengue outbreak

- ARJUN POUDEL, Kathmandu

Jun 23, 2019-

The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division has alerted the local units of Kathmandu Valley—Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur—to be prepared against possible dengue outbreak.

The division’s move is based on several studies carried out in the past that has found the presence of dengue-carrying mosquitoes in significant numbers in the Valley.

Last year, 18 people in the Banasthali-Sano Bharyang area were infected with the dengue virus.

“We have alerted all local units of the Valley through the provincial government and District Public Health Offices about the possible outbreak [of dengue virus],” Ghanashyam Pokhrel, a senior public health administrator at the division, told the Post.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease, which is transmitted by the female Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The same vector also transmits chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika virus, according to the World Health Organization.

“We already have dengue vector present in our locality and the environment for it to survive,” said Pokhrel. “And there already are dengue patients in the Capital.”

Due to drinking water scarcity, people in the Kathmandu Valley store water in jars in their homes, which is considered fertile ground for the mosquito to spread. The vectors breed in clean water and are active during the day. Uncovered water tanks and discarded plastic cups and bottles could become a breeding ground for dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

“We have allocated a budget for awareness programmes against possible dengue infection,” said Geeta Satyal, deputy mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan City. “The provincial government has also allocated a budget for dengue prevention.”

According to Satyal, health workers serving in the metropolitan office have asked awareness campaigns be launched to make people aware of the possible outbreak of dengue.

Indira Pandey, a public health inspector serving at the provincial health office in Kathmandu, said that budget has been allocated to local units to carry out awareness campaigns and search- and destroy-campaigns against dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

“Last year, we had carried out search- and destroy-drive in collaboration with the local units,” said Pandey. “This year too we have alerted local levels.”

According to doctors, mild to high fever, severe muscle pain, rashes, severe headache, and pain in eyes are some of the symptoms of dengue.

The UN health agency say that there is no specific treatment for severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care can lower fatality rate.

Published: 23-06-2019 08:23

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