39 students infected by ARI in Bemji Community Primary School, 11 hospitalized

An Acute Respiratory tract Infection (ARI) outbreak has been reported in Bemji Community Primary school, Trongsa on 18 August where it infected 39 students and 11 students were admitted.

ARI is an illness caused by an acute infection which involves the upper respiratory tract, nose, sinuses, pharynx or larynx. This commonly includes tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, otitis media and the common cold. Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are classified as upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) or lower respiratory tract infections (LRIs).

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Trongsa hospital Dr. Tashi Wangchuk said these 11 students were admitted with high fever.

The First four cases were reported on 18 August and 10 more cases added to the number almost immediately. Later 14 additional cases took the number to 28.

The students reported with symptoms of headache, multiple joint pain, fever, cough and runny nose, nausea and vomiting, chest pain in some cases and difficulty in breathing.

Symptomatic treatments were treated with antibiotics as a prophylaxis by the health officials.

On 21 August, eight more students reported with similar symptoms. Following that day a health team made a visit to learn the details for the outbreak and develop preventive measures to contain the outbreak and also to study the severity of the outbreak.

Health talks were given to teachers and other staffs on ARI by officials. “Prevention was solicited top concern in the talks. The school students and faculty were asked to keep distance with those infected by the disease and were as recommended to use mouth masks.

Laboratory technicians took samples from throat and nose of the students having active symptoms of ARI which was later sent to Public Health Laboratory (PHL) to identify the type of virus strain which caused the outbreak in the school.

The Trongsa hospital instructed the Bemji Basic Health Unit’s (BHU) Incharge to follow-up on the case study and report if any sick students became seriously sick.

Mouth masks were distributed and infected students isolated in dormitories

The 39 students infected with the ARI are in the age range of 6 to 17 years.

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