An expert on public health has attributed the spread of dengue fever to haphazard disposal of garbage.
According to Madhu Sudan Koirala, chief of District Public Health Office (DPHO), Jhapa, unregulated disposal of garbage has been abetting the rise in number of dengue fever cases.
Initially, the maximum of the dengue cases was recorded in Chitwan district. But the situation has changed now and the epidemic is steadily on the rise in Jhapa district since last week.
“Garbage management has become a major problem due to rapid and unmanaged urbanization. This has provided favorable habitat for mosquitoes that spread dengue fever,” said DPHO Chief Koirala.
According to Koirala, Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, which are responsible for spreading dengue fever, lay eggs in stagnant waters. Garbage like tires, other utensils, air conditioner, among others where chances of waters to remain stagnant are high are favorable breeding places for mosquitoes.
The first case of dengue outbreak in the district was recorded five years ago in Kakadbhitta. With the city having more than 500 hotels, a bus park, and scores of vehicle garages, dengue fever had spread like an epidemic in the district at that time.
Since then, dengue cases have been recorded in at least a part of the district every year. In 2013, at least 202 people suffered from the fever. The spreading rate was significantly reduced in the following years as only 13 and 8 cases were recorded in 2014 and 15, respectively. Out of eight infected, 2 had lost their lives in 2015.
This time, Kakadbhitta, Birtamod, Dhulabari and Damak seem to be prone to the dengue epidemic. Most of the cases have been reported in Damak this year. A total of 110 cases have been recorded in the district until Wednesday evening. A total of 41 new patients had approached health institutions on Tuesday alone.
Locals should be very sensitive in controlling the disease from spreading, Koirala said.
“The mosquito breeding process will get completed if people do not replace stagnant water of flower pots or at other places in less than a week,” he added.
The mosquitoes that spread dengue fever become active especially in 20-30 degree Celsius temperature. A mosquito can spread the disease to five persons. High fever, headache, pain in the retina, vomiting are some of the common symptoms of dengue fever.