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Containing dengue fever: Thermal fogging is the most common strategy to control mosquitoes in Phuentsholing. (Photo: ABI)
Containing dengue fever: Thermal fogging is the most common strategy to control mosquitoes in Phuentsholing. (Photo: ABI)

Dengue cases on the decline in P/ling

More than two months since the first dengue case was reported, dengue fever case is on the decline in Phuentsholing.

The hospital usually receives the highest number of positive cases on Mondays. But yesterday, there were just nine dengue positive cases. In the last two Mondays on September 9 and September 2, the hospital received 64 and 93 dengue positive cases respectively.

With yesterday’s nine positive cases, the Phuentsholing general hospital has so far seen 2,451 dengue positive cases. With positive cases from the diagnostic centres, the total number has already crossed 3,000.

Dr Pema Lethro said the numbers are finally decreasing.

Overwhelmed by patients, the Phuentsholing hospital brought in health staff from Gedu and Chukha on temporary duty. “Most of them have returned,” the doctor said.

There were 11 of them who had joined the Phuentsholing hospital team after the dengue outbreak. Only one doctor and three nurses remain with the Phuentsholing hospital today.

To further contain the fever, Dr Pema Lethro said they are now focusing on the positive cases from the most affected areas.

“We are collecting patients’ addresses and visiting their respective homes,” he said, adding that they are then conducting Indoor Residual Spraying.

The doctor also said it was more effective to focus on the positive cases than to look at the general cases, which he said was time consuming and required more resources.

Phuentsholing general hospital has also installed mosquito nets on the patient beds. The department of public health, health ministry, issued a notice recently asking the hospitals in the affected areas to issue bed nets in hospital. The notice was made following the Prime Minister’s visit to Phuentsholing hospital on September 8.

The community also actively participated in fighting the dengue fever in Phuentsholing. A major mass cleaning campaign to reduce mosquitoes’ breeding grounds was organised on September 7.

More than 2,000 people, including students from schools in the thromde, dessups, officials and employees from various government, corporate, and private offices had come together for the cleaning.

Representing the community, the Bhutan Raven Motorcycle Club contributed Nu 78,000 to the cleaning campaign, which was invested for snacks and thermal fogging expenditure.

General awareness among the people has also increased in the bordering town.

Dengue fever case was first reported in July 5 in Phuentsholing. A total of 468 positive cases were reported that month.

In August, a total of 1,337 positive cases were reported from Phuentsholing hospital.

By September 6, Phuentsholing hospital saw a total of 2,121 dengue positive cases. Most positive cases in Phuentsholing were reported from people residing across the border in Jaigaon.

Five people have succumbed to dengue fever this year in the country.

Rajesh Rai  | Gomtu

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