Dengue fever breaks out in three dzongkhags

Dengue Fever outbreak was reported in three Dzongkhags as of Thursday.

The Royal Center for Disease Control (RCDC) reported the highest cases of dengue fever in Samtse with 41 cases on July 13 followed by 28 cases in Phuentsholing, and 11 in Samdrup Jongkhar as of July 8 and 10 respectively.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by dengue virus. Dengue is spread by several species of mosquito of the Aedes type. Symptoms include high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains which begin three to 14 days after infection.

According to the Chief Program Officer of the Communicable Disease Division, Ministry of Health (MoH), Namgay Tshering, the outbreak of dengue fever is attributed to the onset of monsoon and also because of shortage of water in the affected areas.

“With shortage of water, people tend to store drinking water in buckets, the perfect place for aedes mosquitoes to breed,” he said, adding that there were no fatalities as of now.

A press release from the health ministry stated that the RCDC is using its best interventions to contain the outbreak and already reported cases have already been treated and sent home.

However, the health ministry has urged the general public especially in the southern Dzongkhags to keep their surroundings and premises clean, dry and clear of all stagnant water.

The general public is advised to clear all empty containers, discarded tyres and tubes or any containers holding water and to change the water in the water drums and containers at least once every week.

“Reports from RCDC revealed that mosquitoes can also breed in flower saucers and in the bowls of water offerings before the altar,” said Namgay Tshering, adding that people need to change the water in flower saucers regularly.

He added that high probability of mosquito bites exists during early mornings and late evenings. “These are when people go for walks and exercises,” he said, “People should wear full sleeve shirts and long pants every time and should also ensure they sleep under mosquito nets.”

The press release also advised people who have travelled to affected areas to report to the nearest hospital if they experience sudden fever.

Lucky Wangmo from Thimphu