Ura School in Bumthang is currently at the center of a dozen viral diseases and is potentially the point of origin from where the diseases spread to the neighboring schools.
Initially 135 cases were reported, out of which Wangdicholing School had 51 cases, Jakar (11), Chumey (27), Tang (10,) Sonam Kuenphen (35), and Ura with one case.
However medications were prescribed by a doctor according their severity and complaints.
Bumthang hospital’s District Health Officer (DHO) Kinzang Namgyal said of the total, about 42 samples were tested and all were viral positive and “we suspected typhoid”.
However he added though it is tested viral positive, it has to be confirmed whether it is really typhoid and for which will be confirmed by public health.
The case was later notified to Public health under Ministry of Health where a investigation team which comprised two technologists and one epidemiologist from Mongar joined the team along with health team from Bumthang and started investigation from 8th till 13thSeptember.
The investigation team made a visit to all the schools studied the cases and collected around 410 questionnaire samples for the research methodology.
“The main cause of the disease we suspect is contaminated water or food since students said they have taken water directly from tap and also ate junk foods from nearby shops,” said DHO Kinzang Namgyal.
The suspicions would be confirmed only upon the arrival of the research results.
“We can’t say it is typhoid either,” he said explaining the case history since the symptoms of the case lasted maximum of 4 days whereas in typhoid case it takes longer to cure.
Generally symptoms of typhoid fever may appear from 3 to 60 days after infection.
“Or it could be food poisoning,” he said.
Presently the number has reached 144 with 9 more cases from Ura School. The data is yet to be analyzed. The team will come up with the final report by tomorrow.
On 4 September students from various schools in Bumthang reported cases of mild grade fever, headache, nausea, watery diarrhea, giddiness and general body ache to Bumthang hospital
Wangdicholing Lower Secondary School, Tang Middle Secondary School, Sonam Kuenphen High School, Jakar Higher Secondary School, Chumey Middle Secondary School and later Ura School reported students who suffered from similar illnesses.
A four day sports meet was held in Ura school from 31 August – 3 September where all the above mentioned schools participated.