May 21, 2024

Altitude sickness deaths increasing in Mustang

Altitude sickness deaths increasing in Mustang

MYAGDI, April 21: Altitude sickness is emerging as a growing concern among visitors in Mustang. The district also known as the district beyond the Himalaya is home to the famous Muktinath Temple which draws a large number of devotees mainly from home and India each year. 

In the past seven months, 11 tourists including three domestic succumbed to high-altitude sickness in the district. The district records 29 fatalities in the past three years and 11 alone in the past seven months, according to the District Police Office, Mustang. The latest casualties include seven Indians, three Nepali and one Ukrainian, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Bhojraj Pandey said. 

In the fiscal year 2078-29 BS (2021-22), six visitors: five females and one male: all from India died of altitude sickness. They were aged 45-73. 

According to the police records, they suffered high altitude-related health complications in Marfa, Mesokando Pass Trek, Muktinath Temple premises, Gharpajhong, Jomsom Airport, Lete, Tukuche, and Yara. Of the latest fatalities, six were reported in the month of Chait (March-April). The victims were aged 35-83.  

Last fiscal year (2022-23), the district witnessed 12 deaths resulting from altitude sickness and they were from India (seven), Thailand (one), and Nepal (four) and aged 42-75. 
Altitude sickness is caused due to the body's inability to adjust to a low oxygen level at a higher altitude.  This happens normally at an altitude above 2500 meters and its symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, breathing complications, insomnia, loss of appetite, fatigue, weakness, and so on. 

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