SINDHUPALCHOWK, June 12: One person has died while over 15 others including children and elderly of remote Lidi in Golche-1 have taken ill after contracting an unknown disease.
Bhim Bahadur Tamang, 53, who had contracted the mystery disease Saturday evening died Sunday night while seven are in critical condition. The disease first starts with cramps in calf muscles followed by piercing pain in head and across the body, and later results in diarrhea and bleeding from mouth and rectum, according to Principal of local Satkanya Primary School Suppa Tamang.
Ful Kumari Dong, 28, Sanu Kanchhi Dong, 22, Pema Dong, 50, Dolma Dong, 60, Hira Bahadur Dong, 53, Dalamo Dong, 62, and one 42-year-old Dong Man are critically ill. “They are writhing in pain and are in critical condition,” principal Tamang said. Over seven others, who have also contracted the disease, can go out of the house to respond to nature´s call.
An auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM) and a maternal and child health worker (MCHW) from the Area Health Post Selang have reached the village Tuesday evening walking for a day and have started treatment. But they have not been able to diagnose the disease. The villagers were using shamans for treatment and the patients were being given local medicinal herbs.
There is a sub-health post around three-hour trek from the village but locals have not been able to carry the patients there in lack of adult persons. “Many have gone up to Panchpokhari hill with cattle while others have gone to collect yarshagumba herbs. Only children and elderly are now in the village,” principal Tamang explained. Bhim Bahadur Tamang could be cremated only on Tuesday afternoon after 12 men could be gathered.
Principal Tamang said a few persons, including three from a single family, had died of similar disease three years ago in the village that has 112 Tamang households. The locals are worried with fear of the re-visit of that deadly disease and students have stopped going to school for fear of transmission. Attendance at the Satkanya Primary School that has 144 students has dropped to 80.
MCHW Hari Laxmi Dong, who reached the village in the evening, said the patients are being given medicines for diarrhea. “We have been told that there are many patients across the village. We cannot say anything about the disease until we examine the patients,” she said.
Chief of District Public Health Office (DPHO) Dr Raman Singh said the disease cannot be diagnosed now. “The disease looks like diarrhea and we had received news about spread of diarrhea but we cannot say anything as there are reports of bleeding,” Dr Singh said.