More than 15 cases of dengue fever were reported in Phuentsholing regional hospital since the beginning of this month.
A health official said that a patient with a severe case of dengue has been referred to the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) due to inter abdominal bleeding.
Although no public notification has been issued on the outbreak, the official said that the hospital and the relevant agencies are working to control the outbreak. “They are creating awareness in the risky sites, and at the same time, carrying out prevention measures like, fever and vector surveillance, thermal fogging and destruction of breeding sites.”
While the first case was reported in the beginning of this month, the health official said that there could be more number of cases this month as the some reports is yet to get confirmed. “There could be more numbers infected, we will confirm the number after we get the report.” The hospital is testing all patients suspected of dengue or malaria.
Dr Tashi Dorji said that the disease is more likely to be spread during the rainy season. “Mainly the rain water gets collected where so many breeding (of mosquitoes) takes place”. He said mostly children and young adults are vulnerable to the disease.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne tropical disease transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with a dengue virus. Its symptoms appear within three to fourteen days after infection. The most common symptoms are high fever, headache, joint pains, skin rash and vomiting.
Meanwhile, the Phuentsholing Thrompon, Uttar Kumar Rai, said that the need for a thromde health officer has become evident. “We are not able to do much since we don’t have dedicated thromde health officer like there is thromde education officer who monitors all the school related activities in thromde region.” He explained that had the thromde health officer been allotted, the task in monitoring such disease would be easier in a densely populated area like Phuntsholing town.
The Deputy Chief of Vector-borne Disease Control Programme (VDCP) in Gelephu, Tobgyel, said that the department is currently monitoring the disease in southern regions where disease is more likely to spread. He said that the disease is mostly imported cases from the border areas.
In last few months, he said that 16 cases of malaria have been reported so far, out which nine are non-nationals and the rest seven are Bhutanese. “The cases are mostly reported from the southern belts but it’s found that a few cases which are reported from Thimphu and Paro are the imported cases.” He said that the best prevention from the disease is by keeping the surrounding areas clean and protecting oneself from the mosquito bites by wearing full sleeved clothes and sleep under a mosquito net.
The Sarpang Dzongkhag Health Officer said that certain preventive measure from are underway such as, a cleaning campaign, net distribution, and an awareness campaign to educate the public.