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Bhutan H1N1 outbreak -Schools close down

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  • Bhutan H1N1 outbreak -Schools close down

    Flu-like outbreak

    Vacation From Virus: Daga HSS got an unexpected weeklong break

    South-Central Bhutan 24 July, 2010 - The H1N1 virus is now suspected to have surfaced in southern central part of the country, with two schools closed for a week in Tsirang and Dagana.

    With about 175 students suffering from headache, high fever and throat pain in Daga HSS, Dagana dzongkhag declared a break for a week for the 503 students since July 22.

    The vice principal of the school, Loden, said that, as a preventive measure from spreading the disease, the students from nearby areas are sent home, while those from Drujeygang and Lhamoizingkha are kept in the hostel, separate from the affected students. ?The sick students, about 50 boys and 26 girls, are kept in classrooms and hostels,? said the vice principal.

    Loden said that the sick students are given porridge and horlicks to supplement their diet.

    But it is not confirmed whether it is H1N1 or not. ?But it definitely is an outbreak of something, since 175 students got sick,? said the district health officer (DHO), Gunja Raj Gurung.

    He said that about 11 students reported to the Dagana BHU complaining of fever, headache and throat pain on July 18. Since then the numbers kept rising.

    But the dzongkhag could not communicate and send the blood samples to Thimphu to confirm if it was H1N1 outbreak because of roadblocks, erratic power supply and network connection problems. ?We had to request the police hilux to get the doctor from Dagapela to Dagana,? he said.

    The Dagapela doctor and health officials were conducting routine blood test yesterday in Dagana, which is still cut off from the rest of the country.

    According to the vice principal, few students complained of flu like symptoms after they returned from their mid term break on July 15.

    Dagana dzongda Tashi Gyaltsen said that, since there was no equipment to test whether it is H1N1 or not, the affected students were given paracetamol and some antibiotics.

    Meanwhile, in Tsirang, the district education office, on the advice of health officials, kept Damphu LSS on break for a week since July 23, after three of the 11 students tested positive for the influenza A on July 22.

    About 26 students from Damphu HSS became sick since July 22, suffering from common cold.

    Yesterday, about 200 students from Damphu HSS and Damphu LSS visited the district hospital for a check up. ?But most of them aren?t sick, but came to hospital because they were scared,? said the district medical officer (DMO), Chibalal Adhikari.

    According to the DMO, about five blood samples were sent to the public health laboratory in Thimphu. ?We might receive the results and also rapid testing kits today,? he said.

    Meanwhile, all the 26 sick students were given H1N1 vaccination and even the teachers were vaccinated. ?But vaccinating all the students isn?t possible, since there are limited numbers of vaccine,? said a source.

    Tsirang district education officer, Sonam Gyeltshen, said that the education officials, along with dzongda and DMO, visited schools and briefed the students on H1N1. ?It happened that one of the students, who tested positive, went to Samtse for her mid term break, where there was an H1N1 outbreak,? he said. She was given the Tamiflu vaccination.

    By Tashi Dema
    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.

  • #2
    Re: Flu-like outbreak -Schools close down after students show a rash of symptoms

    Tsirang outbreak confirmed

    Influenza A (H1N1) 26 July, 2010 - Medical tests at the public health laboratory in Thimphu have confirmed the outbreak of H1N1 in Tsirang.

    Three blood samples from the dzongkhag were sent to Thimphu for test on July 23, the results of which, the Tsirang district medical officer Dr Chabilal Adhikari said, were returned the next day over the telephone.

    ?All three had tested positive,? he said. ?We?re giving symptomatic treatment and anti-viral medication to patients.?

    The first case of H1N1 was reported on July 22, when 26 students from Damphu higher secondary school reported sick with flu like symptoms.

    On the advice of the health officials, the school was closed for a week since July 22, with all affected patients kept in isolation.

    An additional 34 Damphu residents reported to the hospital with minor symptoms. Dr Chabilal Adhikari said people were given some basic precautionary advice, such as covering their mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing, frequently washing their hands, avoiding crowded places and taking ample rest.

    ?People should take a collective responsibility to prevent the disease,? the district medical officer said, adding those suffering from flu like symptoms should immediately visit the nearest health centres.

    Meanwhile, in Dagana, about 11 students of Daga higher secondary school were given tamiflu, and about 40 students were isolated from the rest to prevent the spread of the disease, although they have yet to confirm if the students were suffering from H1N1 or some other flu.

    The district health officer (DHO), Gunja Raj Gurung, said they could not send the blood samples of the patients to Thimphu for confirmation because of roadblock.

    He said health officials had assumed there was an H1N1 outbreak since a 40-year old man, who visited the school to attend to his sick son, tested positive for influenza A in Drujeygang.

    About 175 students from the school reported to the Dagana health unit, suffering from fever, headache and throat ache since July 18.

    Dagana dzongda Tashi Gyaltsen said that, in the absence of proper equipment to test if students were indeed suffering from the influenza, they were given paracetamol and some antibiotics.

    Influenza A (H1N1) is a highly contagious disease and can turn severe in people suffering from diabetes, heart diseases, and chronic smokers? diseases like bronchitis and lung diseases, and in pregnant women, said doctors.

    By Tashi Dema


    • #3
      Re: Bhutan H1N1 outbreak -Schools close down

      HINI outbreak in Damphu

      28 July, 2010 - The Damphu lower secondary school in Tsirang remained closed, starting yesterday, after a HINI outbreak.

      One student tested positive for Influenza A yesterday and 40 others showed influenza like illness. About 280 people with the flu like symptoms visited the Damphu hospital since July 22 and 10 people have tested positive so far. The H1N1 outbreak was confirmed by the National Public Health Laboratory in Thimphu last Saturday, after three out of five samples tested positive.
      Hundreds of people yesterday rushed to receive the remaining doses of H1N1 vaccine, according to sources.

      Meanwhile, Gelephu has been hit by the red eye disease or conjunctivitis. Over 100 cases are reported every day and majority of them were children, according to a Gelephu town resident. ?It started about a month ago when few children came with red eye,? said a teacher.
      Twitter: @RonanKelly13
      The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.


      • #4
        Re: Bhutan H1N1 outbreak -Schools close down

        Lhuentse schools laid low

        home H1N1 Influenza A 29 July, 2010 - Three schools in Lhuentse were closed for a week, starting Tuesday, after about 230 students reported to the hospital with suspected H1N1 symptoms.

        The assistant district education officer (ADEO), Sherab Jamtsho, said that about 160 students from the Tangmachu middle secondary school (MSS), and about 70 were from Autsho MSS reported to the hospital as of yesterday.

        Ten blood samples, 5 each from the Tangmachhu and Autsho schools, were sent to the public health laboratory in Thimphu for test. The results will be confirmed over a week?s time, according to the general district medical officer, Karma Tenzin of Lhuentse hospital.

        After a random testing of samples collected, one tested positive for Influenza A. The first case of the flu was reported on July 23, when 20 students from Tangmachu MSS reported sick with severe headache, high fever, sore throat, cough and body ache.

        ?The number has increased gradually,? said the ADEO. About 17 students, who were a little serious and suffered from high fever, were discharged after two days at Lhuentse hospital and nearby health centres, according to Karma Tenzin.

        Symptomatic treatment and anti-viral medication were given to the patients. ?We?ve advised the patients to take lot of fluids, which is the main treatment,? said Karma Tenzin.

        On the advice of the health officials, the school will be closed for a week, starting from Tuesday, with all affected patients kept in isolation, to prevent the disease from spreading. The boarder students are kept in the school campus, with no entry for day scholar students. Tangmachhu primary school, located close to Tangmachhu middle secondary school, was also closed, as it has high chance of spreading.

        The Lhuentse ADEO said that education officials, along with the dzongda and health officials, briefed the students of six schools, located especially at the road points, and one dratshang, which are very vulnerable to flu. ?We?re planning to conduct the same for towns and the rabdey dratshang,? he said.

        By Tshering Namgyal