Public advisory issued for dengue prevention

By Muhammad Qasim
May 30, 2023

Islamabad: The Islamabad District Health Office through a public advisory notice has strongly advised public to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral disease endemic to the region.

Advisory issued by the DHO ICT Dr. Muhammad Zaeem Zia on Monday states that dengue fever poses a significant public health concern in Islamabad District especially during the monsoon season. The incidence of dengue fever is typically higher in densely populated areas with inadequate sanitation and limited access to healthcare. Early prevention and prompt treatment are crucial to prevent severe outcomes, said the DHO.

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Dengue fever is primarily transmitted through the bites of infected ‘Aedes’ mosquitoes, which thrive in warm, humid environments and breed in stagnant water. To effectively prevent the spread of dengue, it is important to adopt a proactive approach and incorporate daily surveillance routines around our houses, states the advisory. The Islamabad District Health Office recommends elimination of breeding sites on a daily basis advising individuals to regularly inspect their surroundings and eliminate any potential mosquito breeding sites. Remove or empty out stagnant water sources such as discarded containers, tires, flower pots, and other receptacles that can collect rainwater.

Pay special attention to areas where water tends to accumulate, such as roof gutters, drains, and outdoor containers. The advisory states that individuals should dispose of solid waste promptly and in designated waste disposal areas. Avoid leaving trash or garbage exposed as they can accumulate water and serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. People should regularly clean and clear drainages and water channels to ensure they are free from blockages or stagnant water. This will help minimise mosquito breeding and reduce the risk of dengue transmission.

The DHO advised people to use mosquito repellents. Apply mosquito repellents on exposed skin surfaces, especially during outdoor activities. Choose repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus for effective protection against mosquito bites. Use bed nets while sleeping, particularly if you live in an area with a high mosquito population.

When spending time outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to minimize skin exposure to mosquito bites. The advisory states that one should maintain a surveillance routine. Implement a daily surveillance routine around your house to detect and address potential mosquito breeding sites promptly. Regularly check for standing water in containers, flower vases, pet bowls, and other areas that can collect water. Empty, clean, or cover these items to prevent mosquito breeding.

This season poses an increased risk of dengue transmission due to heavy rainfall and potential flooding, creating additional breeding sites for mosquitoes. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions throughout the year to prevent the spread of dengue fever, states the advisory.

The Islamabad District Health Office urged the public to adopt a comprehensive approach to preventing the spread of dengue fever. By practicing good hygiene, eliminating breeding sites, using mosquito repellents and protective clothing, and incorporating a daily surveillance routine, we can effectively reduce the risk of dengue transmission and protect ourselves and our communities, said Dr. Zaeem. He added if one experiences symptoms of dengue fever, one should seek immediate medical attention.

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