Phidim: One hundred cases of SHAPU (Seasonal Hyperacute Pan-Uveitis) disease have been reported across the country in the past three years.
SHAPU is an infectious disease primarily caused by a white moth. This is the first time in 46 years that the highest number of cases have been detected in a short span of time.
Tribhuvan University (TU) senior ophthalmologist Dr Ranju Kharel said still three months ahead are risky in view of the exposure to the SHAPU. The risk of disease is high from August to September.
SHAPU is a rapidly destructive intra-ocular inflammatory disease, leading to disfigurement, loss of eyesight and even permanent blindness if there is no medical intervention on time.
The first case of SHAPU was detected at a school in Pokhara in 1975. Children are predominantly vulnerable to the infection causing the disease. It can affect a 38-day-old child to an 80-year-old. According to Dr Kharel, mid-hilly districts in Province 1, Bagmati and Lumbini provinces report the most cases of SHAPU.
However, all-white months are not toxic and those featuring black stripes on wings and with a yellowish tail are agents of the disease which is transmitted with their toxic hairs.
It can also affect the people having no close contact with white month. Redness in one eye sans the discharge of yellowish substance, a white spot in the eye pupil and its further spread covering the entire pupil and the loss of sight are among the symptoms of the disease and doctors advised to visit the eye care facility to seek timely medical intervention in case of such symptoms to avoid the further harm.