School closed as suspected Influenza outbreak hits 115 students

The Thangrong Primary School in Mongar has been closed because of a suspected outbreak of Influenza, which has infected 233 people in the wider area including 115 students.

On 30th October, 15 students complained of headache, sore throat, joints pain and vomiting after which the school, on the advice from hospital, isolated the students. The vice principal said the school was closed from the 1st November and will not be reopened until further notice.

“The numbers quickly escalated from 15 to 115 with three teachers infected, so it is impossible to continue with the regular class,” he said.

The dzongkhag health officer, Tshering Dorji, said an advocacy program was held in school for the students and parents regarding the prevention of the disease. As of now, 10 samples were collected and sent to the Royal Center for Disease Control (RCDC) in Thimphu.

He said the influenza has not spread to other gewogs or schools. “With the consent from dzongkhag administration and chief education officer, the schools has been asked to close to prevent spread,” he said.

He said that while on tour many households in the gewog was suffering from the viral disease and fieldwork and regular household chores were not attended to. “It usually lasts for a week or two and the common symptoms are joints pain, sore throat, headache, weakness, loss of appetite and vomiting,” he said.

The Laboratory officer of the RCDC, Jit Bdr, said confirmation is yet to be made as the samples has not reached Thimphu.  He said that comparing to the past years, the reported case of influenza this year is the highest. “The most reported cases are between August to October,” he said.

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