Kathmandu: At least five cases of cholera have already been confirmed in the Kathmandu Valley in less than a week, according to the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL).
The stool samples of five patients have tested positive for cholera, and the sample of one suspected patient is under screening, said Dr Runa Jha, director at NPHL.
According to the Teku Hospital, the stool samples of patients from Bagbazar, Dillibazar, Balkhu, and Kapan areas have tested positive for cholera. “At least six-eight patients are visiting the hospital daily complaining of frequent diarrhea. The number is rising every day,” according to the hospital.
“The confirmed cases are not concentrated in one area. The cases are scattered. This means the Kathmandu Valley is at a high risk of a cholera outbreak,” said Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, an expert in infectious disease. “The disease, I suspect, has already reached several parts of Kathmandu,” said Pun, adding at least 15-20 people might have cholera in Kathmandu.
According to Dr Baburam Marasini, former director at the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD), of at least 10 patients, only 2-3 are admitted to hospitals for treatment. “The other eight patients spread cholera silently,” he said.
Following the latest development, the state-owned laboratory has started testing water samples from various parts of the Kathmandu Valley. “The water samples tested at NPHL had coliform bacteria. We are also testing other water samples,” said Dr Runa Jha.
Talking to Nepal Live Today, public health experts said, “The waste management of Kathmandu Valley is extremely poor, and in monsoon season the capital is always at high risk.”
Lately, solid waste piled up in different parts of the Kathmandu Valley after locals of the Sisdole landfill site obstructed the waste disposal. “In the monsoon season, the risk of water-borne disease is always high. And this season, the authorities concerned even failed to collect waste for a long time,” said Marasini, adding that cholera might have spread in Kathmandu through waste piled up for a long time. visit site
“The water pipelines of Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) have leakage in different areas. We have seen sewage water coming through water pipes on many occasions. But the issue is always neglected,” said Marasini.
In Patan Hospital, at least 10 patients have been coming to the hospital complaining of frequent diarrhea.
“Even the authorities concerned are mum about the issue. When the cases come to the surface, the Health Ministry should collect water samples from every part of Kathmandu. But the government always reacts after it’s too late,” according to Marasini.
In the meantime, the District Health Office has formed a five-member team to find out the cause behind the spread of cholera. “The samples of water from infected people’s areas have been collected and taken to the state-owned laboratory for examination,” said Basanta Adhikari, chief of the District Public Health Office.