Dengue cases cross 2,500 in Phuentsholing

Dengue fever has refused to subside in Phuentsholing as the cases detected have crossed over 2,500 till now. The Phuentsholing General Hospital has recorded more than 2,000 cases so far. 468 cases were detected in July and 931 in August. Cases are still being detected in Phuentsholing General Hospital  (PGH).

Private diagnostic centers have also detected cases during patient visits to the centers. Around 600 cases have reportedly been detected from the centers till now. Phuentsholing Diagnostics Center alone has detected around 260 cases from July till yesterday. Without treatment for the case, the center refers the patients to PGH. The center also monitors the blood platelets of the detected patients in the center. Sonam Tshewang, proprietor of Phuentsholing Diagnostics Center said that the center checks patients’ blood platelets.

Dr. Kinley Gyeltshen from PGH who has undertaken a research on the case said that since July cases are continuing. Around 30 to 40 cases are detected daily. The serious cases are referred to Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital in Thimphu.

 The hospital provides supportive treatments by giving antibiotics, IV fluid and blood transfusion in critical cases when the platelets are low. Around four blood transfusions are done daily in the hospital of which 80% are for dengue patients. The blood reserves at the hospital have been exhausted a long time back, according to Dr. Kinley Gyeltshen.

LT Diagnostics Center in Phuentsholing has also detected 111 dengue positive cases till now from mid- August. More than 10 patients visit the center daily to test for dengue.

Meanwhile, there are different medicines available across the border in Jaigaon. They are tablets and syrups made from papaya leaves which are manufactured in India. The price ranges from Nu 285 to 365 per strip containing 15 tablets. Also, there are ayurvedic tablets available in Jaigaon. The pharmacists say that though the pills do not guaranteed to cure dengue it increases blood platelets and immune system to fight the disease. Each pharmacy receives around five Bhutanese daily looking for the pills. Mukesh Kumar Mahato, a pharmacist in Jaigaon, said that the sale has increased by double this year. “We used to sell the medicine before but this year, we received more customers,” he said.

Similarly, Dolma Medical Shop in Jaigaon also sells different varieties of medicines made from papaya leaves. The shop has also sold more medicines this year. “Since, the tablets and syrup is just for increasing immunity and blood platelets, we advise the customers to keep their surroundings clean which is the best prevention from the disease,”  said Manoj Jaiswal, the proprietor . The shop sells up to five strips of tablets daily to Bhutanese customers.  However, doctors at PGH do not recommend the tablets.

Meanwhile, PGH with the relevant stakeholders, will conduct mass cleaning today in Phuentsholing.

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing