Starting early May this year, Phuentsholing general hospital recorded 187 dengue fever cases. This means, in the last four and half months, the hospital saw at least 41 cases each month.

The recent case was reported on September 15 in a Bhutanese woman who lives in Chinese Lane of Jaigaon.

Records with the hospital shows 28 cases of dengue fever in Bhutanese living across the border.

Health officials, however, say that compared to dengue cases recorded last year, it has decreased by a huge margin this year. From August 2016, the general hospital recorded 857 dengue cases, making it 71 cases a month.

Malaria supervisor with the hospital, Kinzang Dorji, said that most cases this year were reported from the lower area in town.  “Water problem might have caused dengue.”

He said residents in that area stored water, which allowed dengue mosquitoes to breed. “Larvae were found in some houses.”

Kinzang Dorji said that after finding the larvae, they advised people to change the water. “But we found larvae in the next visit.”

He said that when they asked people, they were told that the residents face water problem and do not waste the stored water. Scrap dealer shops also were found breeding dengue larvae in drums and tyres.

Health officials explained that dengue is transmitted by a mosquito bite that is already infected with the dengue virus serotypes. It is a feverish illness that affects both young and old.

Officials said that symptoms show up three to 14 days after a mosquito bite. Mild and high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint pains, and rashes are some of the dengue symptoms.

Kinzang Dorji said no case has been reported in the last six days.

He said that to control spreading of dengue fever, relevant agencies have already carried indoor residual spray and fogging in city’s prone areas. “Door to door vector surveillance has also been carried out.”

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing