136 students affected so far

Health:  The basic health unit (BHU) in Samdrupcholing dungkhag has confirmed an outbreak of an infectious disease mumps in Martshala primary school.

As of yesterday, about 136 students have been referred to the grade I BHU.

The first case was reported on August 12 when an eight-year old boy studying in class II complained of pain and swelling of the neck and was later confirmed as mumps. The next day, 20 students reported to the BHU followed by 50 students on the third day.

By the time a team comprising of doctor and education officials reached the school, the number had increased to 84, according to the health officials.

School principal DR Thapa said at least three or four cases are reported every with similar symptoms like fever and swollen neck below the earlobe.

However, he said this has not disturbed the classes and all the infected students have been sent home for better care based on the doctor’s advice instead of closing the school.

About eight students are isolated in one of the rooms in hostel.

Principal DR Thapa said although there are no records, some of the teaching faculty informed there was a similar outbreak a few years ago.  “But the case is not a major and the school activities are still going on,” he said, adding they are taking precautions by completely isolating the affected students.

The school has total of 346 students, of which, 218 are hostellers studying from pre-primary to class VI. Almost all the students from pre-primary to class VI are infected.

By Yangchen C Rinzin, Samdrupjongkhar