Samtse reported a total of 75 dengue cases as of yesterday of which 63 were reported from Samtse, eight from Gomtu, and four from Sipsu.
However, more than 95 percent of the patients in Samtse had contacted the dengue fever in Phuentsholing, according to officials.
Although the first case was reported on March 5 this year, health officials said there were minimal indigenous cases.
Despite discovering many breeding grounds, Samtse was able to keep the fever under control. A health team was thermal-fogging nooks and corners in Samtse yesterday. The team also do indoor residual spraying to kill mosquitoes.
District health officer Gunjaraj Gurung said control measures are still ongoing.
“It is not an outbreak here,” he said, adding that they have been able to keep it under control because of the experience they had in 2017.
In 2017, Samtse saw a total of 107 confirmed dengue cases. The number decreased to 25 in 2018.
Dzongkhag malaria supervisor, Gallay, said that although the number of positive cases has decreased, they cannot take risks.
“Due to the outbreak in Phuentsholing, outbreak chances are still high,” he said, adding that they have been making more and more people aware of the fever.
Gallay said they sought help of the Samtse College of Education students to conduct door-to-door awareness campaigns on September 7. “Many mosquito breeding sources were destroyed.”
Meanwhile, the health ministry’s public health department, issued a notification on September 9, asking all the district hospitals and BHU- grade I in the dengue-endemic areas to enforce the use of bed nets by patients “immediately and keep all the patients together on the same floor.”
The notification asked to inform health assistants of all BHUs in the southern belt to use bed net when dengue patients are kept under observation before they are discharged or referred.
Referring to the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Phuentsholing general hospital on September 9, the letter stated that, “there were dengue suspected patients scattered in all the wards including emergency ward and all the patients were lying on the bed without bed net.”
It stated that it could be one of the reasons for slowing the progress of outbreak containment despite vigorous effort in vector control and prevention in Phuentsholing.
The letter further highlighted that during such time of dengue outbreaks, it was crucial for all the patients to be kept on the same floor and under the net to prevent transmission of dengue to other patients and health staff.
Phuentsholing hospital management is currently working out to install bed nets. In Samtse, bed nets have been issued.
Rajesh Rai | Samtse