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S/J sees a rash of typhoid cases

Common at this time of year when water sources are contaminated by continuous rain 

With three to four cases reported every day, hospitals in Samdrupjongkhar and Dewathang are lately seeing an increasing number of typhoid cases.

About two-three typhoid cases are always admitted at the hospitals, both in Samdrupjongkhar and Dewathang.

Health workers in Samdrupjongkhar said typhoid cases at this time of the year, during rainy season, usually increase.

Samdrupjongkhar hospital’s lab in-charge Sangay Jamtsho said, typhoid being a water borne disease can easily infect people consuming contaminated water.

“It’s rainy season and water sources are dirtied; moreover some residents might be drinking unboiled water,” he said.  “Water is scarce here and residents fetch water from springs and a well near the town, which could be contaminated.”

Within two months, Samdrupjongkhar district hospital recorded 164 cases of typhoid, of which 77 were positive.

Similarly Dewathang military hospital saw 110 typhoid cases since March.

Samdrupjongkhar residents said their water supply in the past few weeks has been muddy. “It was as if the water was pumped directly from the muddy river,” one of them said, adding it could be the main reason for many suffering from typhoid.

Most typhoid patients are children below 15 years.  One of them in Dewathang hospital is four-year-old Tshering Dema.

As her father Dorji, 28, tries to put her to sleep, he said she hasn’t slept the whole night.  She has been admitted at the hospital for three days. “She just cries, is feverish and doesn’t sleep peacefully for even an hour,” he said.

He also said that, although they have not been advised anything by the hospital, they are taking precaution to get her well soon. “For both washing and drinking, we’re using warm water for her.”

Symptoms of typhoid are fever, body or joint pain and headache.  Meanwhile, Dewathang military hospital that ran out of typhoid drugs and reagents for about two weeks recently got its supply.

By Nirmala Pokhrel, Samdrupjongkhar

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