Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing

Phuentsholing hospital has reported three confirmed dengue positive cases until yesterday, the first positive cases this year.

The most recent one was reported on June 30.

Most of the cases have been treated as home-based management, it has been learned. The patients were not admitted because they did not have severe symptoms.

Phuentsholing hospital’s management has also confirmed that these cases are sporadic in nature. This means there were no links to the patients’ history of time and places of being infected.

Unlike last year, Phuentsholing was better prepared to tackle the dengue outbreak this year.

The health ministry had trained 25 prime movers and 107 youths and volunteers from various organisations, who are deployed under the Phuentsholing thromde.

Prime movers are the key members who move around creating awareness, keep track of households in different dengue prone zones and help in removing mosquito breeding places. They also communicate with all other volunteers. This year, the thermal fogging has also been initiated early on.

Meanwhile, in case of probable and confirmed cases, a surveillance system is also in place to investigate further.

“We do a case-based investigation,” a doctor said. “It is to figure out where and when the patient was exposed.”

If the particular patient doesn’t have any travel history, the residential area and workplace will be investigated. A 100-metre radius in the locality is then properly investigated and necessary actions are taken. All these surveillance have been conducted in areas where the three confirmed cases were reported.

Health officials also said that residents have a big responsibility to control and prevent dengue outbreak in Phuentsholing.

Residents have to maintain their indoor and outdoor environment clean and those beyond their reach and capacity have to be reported to the relevant authorities.

A health official said that a dengue mosquito (Aedes) takes a week to become an adult and lives about three to four weeks.

“It is very important for people to clean their surroundings every week,” the health official said.

Flower pots, vehicle tyres, and buckets are some of the most potential breeding centres.

In 2019, the first case of dengue was reported in July and it soon spread to 19 dzongkhags, except Lhuentse.

By November, there were 5,489 positive cases. Of that 77 percent of the cases were reported in Phuentsholing and most were reported from those living in Jaigaon.

Six people died and two maternal deaths were also reported from dengue complications.