Neten Dorji | Trashigang

With one more student of Tsenkharla Central School in Trashiyangtse diagnosed with glossitis yesterday, the total number of students suffering from the outbreak reached 104.

Medical team in Trashiyangtse are yet to find the cause of glossitis outbreak in the school after 103 students of the school were infected with it since January 27.

Dr Namsa of the dzongkhag hospital said glossitis occurs everywhere and it would be difficult to conclude the cause immediately. “We need to collect blood and food samples.”

He said they do not have the capacity to find out the cause. “It is not a new case. Glossitis occurs everywhere.”

Education ministry’s chief programme officer for school health and nutrition division, Karma Wangchuk, also said that it is not a new disease. In 2019, there was an outbreak in schools in Thimphu with boarding facilities.

He said it has been difficulut to find the cause. “It can be treated by providing B complex vitamins but it keeps emerging.”

According to Karma Wangchuk, the division planned to conduct thorough research but a second nationwide lockdown impeded the execution of the plan.

The dzongkhag’s deputy chief education officer, Rinchen Phuntsho, said while the medical team is yet to find out the cause, they gave vitamins to students as an immediate intervention.

Meanwhile, of 104 students suffering from the outbreak, 12 are vegetarian and 92 are non-vegetarians. The school also reported that 362 students are reported to be non-vegetarian and 61 students were strictly vegetarian.  However, students who eat eggs are categorised as non-vegetarian.

The officiating principal, Karchung said the school started serving the available fruits like oranges, sugarcane, banana, ground apple, watermelon and pears. “Except for few students, many can eat well. We are providing separate curry to students who cannot eat spicy food.”

He said that because of lockdown restriction, they could not provide varieties of fruits but provided what was available in the local market.

He also said that they allowed students to use warm clothes since December. “The school also provided hot water for bathing and two heaters were placed in every classroom.”

A total of 41 students have recovered.

Out of 423 students in the school, 363 stays in hostel and 60 students are day scholars.