Rising temperature makes Nepali capital high dengue risk zone: experts

16:51, July 01, 2011      

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Booming urbanization along with unmanaged sanitation and rising temperatures have made Nepali capital Kathmandu Valley a high dengue risk zone, experts warned. "The vehicles bound for Kathmandu Valley from different regions of the country heighten the risk of dengue outbreak," said Purushottam Gautam, Medical Entomologist at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD).

"Earlier, it was believed that Japanese Encephalitis and other Vector 1 diseases cannot occur in the valley. However, they became endemic here. Likewise, the discovery of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the causative agent of dengue fever, in droves in the valley has heightened the risk of dengue outbreak," Gautam was quoted by Friday's eKantpur.com as saying.

Gautam said that once the mosquito becomes infected with the dengue virus, its coming generation will also inherit the virus ( transovvarial transmission) and Kathmandu has already seen two clinical cases of dengue fever in 2010, which makes the risk much higher in the post monsoon period.

"Usually urban areas have a high population density, poor sanitation and large number of discarded tyres, buckets, utensils and overhead tanks, desert coolers and discarded plastic, glass, tin, earthen containers where it's easy for the mosquito to breed, " said Rakesh Thakur, National Professional officer, Neglected Tropical Disease at the EDCD.

Experts also said that with the increase in temperature, the pattern of dengue fever occurrence too has been shifting to upper land zones from the lower and the temperature of the valley is also favorable for the dengue virus.

Dr. Basu Dev Pandey, tropical disease specialist and consultant physician at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital of Teku, said the draft of the guideline for dengue fever management is ready and with some changes, it will be sent to all high risk zones of the country in a week or two.

With the fear of dengue outbreak looming in the valley, EDCD Director Chudamani Bhandari said that the center has already started talking with different stakeholders of valley of sanitation and water distribution.

"We have already held a meeting on the epidemic outbreak with all District Health Officers of the valley and we are now planning to talk with Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited and Kathmandu Metropolitan City for the management of water and sanitation."

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses.

Source: Xinhua
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