Dengue cases resurface in P/ling

Dengue fever cases have resurfaced in Phuentsholing since September 16. After decline since September, the cases have again increased from September 16 after continuous downpour for three days.

Eighty-nine cases were detected on September 16 followed by 42 on 17. Eighty and 54 cases were detected on September 18 and 19 respectively which means the fever is no way on the decline.

Despite efforts from the hospital and administrative authorities like Drungkhag and Thromde to combat the fever, the hospital authorities say that the public plays an important role in containing the fever. The most important action for the containment is to source reduction at sites which means people must cooperate in destroying breeding sites reducing the risks. Hospital authorities say the public is still ignorant about dengue and not cooperative. The investigating team from the hospital found many empty flower pots and tires in Kabreytrar and Dhamdara where mosquito larvae were found.  

It was also found during the mass cleaning campaign and awareness campaign that flower pots, tires and empty containers are not attended to properly despite warnings given by the authorities. These are the places where mosquitoes breed and the people are least bothered, according to Dr. Letho, officiating Chief Medical Officer of Phuentsholing General Hospital. “We have done our part by thermal fogging and Indoor residual Spray (IRS). But if they don’t listen to our repeated pleas, we cannot do more,” he said. A larvae takes around five to seven days to develop into a fully grown mosquito.

The hospital has so far conducted mass cleaning, thermal fogging and IRS from July across the city including Pasakha Industrial estate more than three times.  The hospital has conducted four mass cleaning campaigns in the city from May. They will also conduct one today. The team aims to eliminate breeding centers completely. Thermal fogging is done in hospital daily as it is considered a prime source of transmission. Also, the team has distributed mosquito nets to the dengue positive patients to stop spreading to other family members.

The medical team has created awareness through social media, stickers and in the hospitals for visitors. With all these efforts, dengue cases should have declined or eliminated. The team has informed the agencies across the border about awareness as Jaigaon has the highest number of detected cases till now.

Considering the financial implications, conducting mass cleaning and thermal fogging daily is impossible. But with the level of awareness the hospital has conducted, the team feels that the public should act responsibly to eliminate the fever. “Though 90% of the people are aware through our efforts not many act responsibly,” Dr. Letho said. The team has listed the individuals, institutions and organizations who have failed to comply despite repeated requests from the team. The list will be submitted to Phuentsholing Thromde for action.  

Around 2,700 cases were detected in Phuetsholing General Hospital till now. More than 800 cases were also reported from four private diagnostic centers.

The hospital added a blood analyzer machine a few weeks ago for faster service delivery. Eleven staffs including two doctors are in the hospital on temporary duty.  From September 16, cases in the emergency ward declined but increased from Outpatient department. “It is a worrying trend,” Dr. Letho said.   

pic courtesy: google

Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing