Flu takes toll on Jajarkot folks


JAJARKOT, APR 15: Seasonal flu has claimed 16 lives in some villages of Jajarkot from the third week of March.

By Saturday, the flu had killed 12 persons. Three more deaths were reported yesterday and one person died today evening.

Fifty-year-old Haste Damai of Talegaun-6 died today evening. Those who died yesterday include Maisari Singh, 70, Laxmi Nepali, 50, and Dhankala Damai, 75, of Talegaun 3 and 5.

According to Balmiki Prasad Singh, a teacher at Talegaun, more than 200 persons are affected by flu in the village and the number of deaths is increasing.

Besides the four deaths in Talegaun, 10 persons in Paink and one each in Archhani and Majkot have succumbed, Rajendra Panta, director of mid-western Regional Health Directorate, Surkhet said.

The report of national public health laboratory of Kathmandu has confirmed seasonal flu. Attributing the flu outbreak to lack of personal hygiene and unsafe drinking water, Pant urged the locals to be careful as the disease can spread via air.

“We’ve deployed three teams of doctors to contain the disease,” said Pant, adding that additional supply of drugs is being sent to the district.

Regarding the four additional deaths, health workers have attributed some other causes, claiming that seasonal flu in Paink, Archhani, Talegaun, Sakla, Pajaru and Nayakwada are under control.

Locals, however, contradict the health workers’ claim. According to Jajarkot Chief District Officer Jagat Bahadur Basnet, a medical team was dispatched to Talegaun today following news of the recent flu-related deaths.

According to district health office chief Dhirjung Shah, more that 2,500 persons have fallen ill due to seasonal flu in the affected areas and are undergoing treatment at local health facilities.

Although the government sent a chopper with health workers and some local political leaders to the district, necessary medicine is being ferried by porters.

Yesterday, Health Minister Khagaraj Adhikari, lawmakers Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Rajib Bikram Shah and Rita Rawal and some doctors reached the area.

While the doctors are now working in flu-affected areas, medicine hasn’t arrived yet. “The government managed a chopper for leaders, but drugs are being brought by porters,” commented Bal Kumar Sharma.