KATHMANDU: The capital city is getting vulnerable to cholera. With a sudden surge in number of cholera patients, the authorities have sounded alarm bells.
Shukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Teku, today confirmed that it recorded 25 cases of cholera in the last two weeks. Though no death has been reported, rising number of patients at the hospital has put authorities concerned on their toes.Till now, the most vulnerable areas in the capital city have been identified as Kalanki, Kalimati, Nepaltar, Maitidevi, Balaju and Kritipur.
“We have already written to Epidemiology and Disease Control Division seeking their prompt action,” said Dr Saroj Prasad Rajendra, director at Shukraraj Hospital. She added that cases were recorded mainly in the urban and slum areas due to contaminated water and food sold in open spaces. “Mortality rate of cholera patients is usually high. Patients suffer from short dehydration and may die if immediate treatment is not provided,” she said.
It is alarming that there has been an increase in number of cholera patients given the fact that the hospital did not record even a single case of the disease last year. Dr Basu Dev Pandey, senior virologist at the hospital warned of potential outbreak.
Bishwo Ram Shrestha, Chief of the District Public Health Office, Kathmandu said the health office had already put the authorities concerned on high alert. “We have also written to Nepal Drinking Water Corporation urging them to take stock of water supplied in the areas that are more vulnerable to the disease,” added Shrestha. DHPO has also asked Kathmandu Metropolitan City to strengthen health institutions in the valley to cope with the situation in case of an outbreak, said Shrestha.
Facts about the deadly disease
Cholera is a severe infection caused by the bacterium vibrio cholerae, which primarily affects the small intestine.
Main symptoms include profuse watery diarrhoea and vomiting.
Primarily takes place by the acquisition of the pathogen through contaminated drinking water or infected food.
The severity of the diarrhoea and associated vomiting can lead to rapid dehydration and electrolyte loss, which can lead to death.
Maintaining personal hygiene and sanitation and drinking safe water — either by boiling or purifying it with certified chemicals— are the best ways to avoid contracting cholera.