PESHAWAR: Dengue virus infected 425 more people in the past two days in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the number of patients suffering from the mosquito-borne disease reached 3,380, the provincial Health Department said on Monday.
Though it was weekly day-off on Sunday, the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH), Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) and Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) ensured presence of employees to treat patients.
As usual, majority of patients visited KTH that is already overburdened due to influx of dengue patients.
The huge number of patients made it difficult for its staff to cope with this never-ending flow of patients.
Of the 1,031 suspected dengue patients who visited hospitals in KP on Sunday, 700 of them were taken to KTH of whom 274 were tested and 96 among them were diagnosed with dengue.
Around 61 patients were admitted to KTH, bringing the number of admitted dengue patients to 268 as several patients were discharged after recovery.
“The KTH is facing the brunt of dengue epidemic. The hospital is not meant for dengue patients alone. It has to treat patients needing care in other specialties as well,” said a senior consultant at the hospital.
He noted with concern that it was dangerous for the health of other patients and their attendants if such a huge number of people suffering from a virus were kept in one place.
Pleading anonymity, he said initially two medical wards were dedicated to the dengue patients but now due to influx of the patients, they accommodated them in other units such as skin, eye, ENT, gynae, orthopaedic and even private rooms.
“You can’t refuse admission to the patients as their attendants lose temper and tend to become violent. So the doctors have to keep dengue patients with those suffering from other ailments,” said the senior consultant.
According to the Dengue Response Unit (DRU), 1031 dengue suspects visited the hospitals in KP on Sunday in which 568 were tested and 127 among them were found positive.
The LRH received 175 dengue suspects and all of them were tested but only 22 were diagnosed with dengue.
Among 22, only 14 patients preferred to stay in the hospital.
The DRU list lacked the details of Mardan Medical Complex (MMC), where over two dozen dengue suspects were brought on Sunday but eight among them tested positive on Sunday.
The total number of dengue patients in Mardan reached 35 while 20 were discharged on Monday after their recovery and 15 are still under treatment in the MMC.
Prof Ameer Khan, head of Medicine Department and focal person for dengue crisis in Mardan, toldThe Newsthat they started admitting dengue patients in ENT ward and private rooms after one medical ward spared to dengue patients had no more space for patients.
A private hospital in Peshawar, Mercy Teaching Hospital also received 40 suspects in which one was found positive. Three positive cases were reported from Mansehra, two from Buner and two from HMC Peshawar where only 11 patients were taken and all were tested.
According to DRU, 1527 visited the hospitals in KP on Monday in which 1524 were tested and 290 were diagnosed with dengue positive.
The KTH again remained under severe burden as of the 1527 patients, 968 were taken to the same hospital on Monday, in which all were tested and 234 were found positives. The hospital currently admitted 294 dengue patients.
The patients flow also increased in LRH where 279 patients were brought on Monday and all were tested but only four were discharged with dengue positive.
The LRH has currently accommodated 294 dengue positive patients.
Also, 408 patients were taken to the two mobile health units sent by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Dr Muhammad Farrukh Sultan, Additional Director General Health Services, Punjab, said their staff received 408 patients, including 219 females, 107 children and 82 males. He said nine of them tested positive.
He said one mobile health unit has been sent back to Lahore and the two other units would remain in Peshawar to help their fellow colleagues in providing services to the patients.
Dr Farrukh Sultan denied media reports that a doctor from Punjab had been diagnosed with dengue.
He said a staff member had in fact contracted malaria. “Well it’s like a war and like the armed forces, we might sometime suffer as well,” he remarked.