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Dengue on rise across the country

Dengue on rise across the country

The number of people infected with dengue is rising across Nepal. According to a report published by the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) on June 18, a total of 1,241 people have contracted dengue since January this year. The division reports that dengue has been detected in 72 districts countrywide, while no cases have been reported in Mustang, Dolpa, Mugu, Humla, and Jumla. Despite this, the fear of the disease spreading persists.

Dengue is a vector-borne disease carried by female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and, to a lesser extent, Aedes albopictus. These mosquitoes also transmit chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika virus.

The EDCD data shows 141 cases in Kathmandu, 112 in Jhapa, 75 in Chitwan, 59 in Makwanpur, 47 in Doti, 46 in Tanahu, 44 in Sindhupalchok, 41 in Okhaldhunga, 28 in Rupandehi, 27 in Bhaktapur, and 18 in Lalitpur since January. These are the top 10 districts with the highest number of dengue cases. The Bagmati province has reported 428 cases, the highest cases this year.

Garbage in the city provides perfect breeding spots for mosquitoes to lay their eggs, with discarded plastic cups, bottles, and bottle caps being prime locations. The EDCD report reveals that dengue is spreading faster than last year, primarily due to the increasing mosquito population. Warm temperatures and rainfall create ideal breeding conditions, and mosquitoes bite multiple individuals, thus increasing the number of infections, said Dr. Sher Bahadur Pun, chief of the Clinical Research Unit at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital at Teku, Kathmandu.

Dengue symptoms usually begin 4–10 days after infection and last for 2–7 days. Symptoms may include high fever (40°C/104°F), severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands, and rash.

August, September, and October have historically seen the highest number of dengue cases in the country. Last year, 14,534 cases were reported in August, 13,912 in September, and 12,699 in October. As cases begin to rise again, we are likely witnessing a pre-outbreak, which could lead to widespread infection, said Dr Pun.

According to the World Health Organization, urbanization, especially unplanned, is associated with dengue transmission through various social and environmental factors, including population density, human mobility, access to reliable water sources, and water storage practices. Community risk is also influenced by a population's knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding dengue, including behaviors related to water storage, plant keeping, and self-protection against mosquito bites.

The Ministry of Health and Population recommends three ways to control dengue: search and destroy possible mosquito breeding sites, protect yourself from mosquito bites, and seek immediate medical attention if you exhibit any symptoms of dengue.


The government must act immediately to curb the infection. Immediate health plans are necessary to reduce the number of infections. Last year, 52,790 people were affected, with 20 deaths. Without timely action, the number of infections could increase significantly.