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August 17, 2012

Outbreak of dengue fever not expected in KP in current year: experts


Web Desk
August 17, 2012

LAHORE: A Meeting of the Punjab University’s Dengue Research Group (DRG), formed last year for scientific information about psychological effects, diagnose, preventive, curative measures, etc regarding the disease, was held on Thursday.
Besides PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, Chief Social Mobiliser Shaista Pervaiz Malik, Research and Development on Dengue Programme Head Dr Waseem Akram, Dengue Research Group Chairman Prof Dr Saeed Akhtar, CEMB Director Prof Dr Tayyab Husain, School of Biological Sciences Director Dr Javed Iqbal, Chief Medical Officer Dr Nauman Ahmed and a large number of researchers were also present on the occasion.
The Dengue Research Group chairman gave a presentation to the meeting on surveillance and summary of dengue situation in Lahore. He also presented data analysis of various towns of Lahore and said that desert coolers were the largest container of larvae and 66 per cent of larvae were detected from the desert coolers. He said that from Nov 2011 to August 2012, no larvae had been found in some ponds being watched for research purpose outside Zoology Department.
Dr Muhammad Idrees said that Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology had tested 4,000 samples and free of cost diagnosis for DENV and its Sero-typing had been provided in all the cases in Punjab and samples from Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa had also been tested. He said the outbreak of dengue fever was not expected in KP in the current year as according to the test of samples sent by the KP government, the ratio of infested larvae was 1.2 per cent while for outbreak, the ratio required to be more than 20 per cent.
He said 15 suspected cases were received in the current year out of which five cases, four from Lahore and one from Rahim Yar Khan, were found positive and three were containing DHF-3 and two DF-2. He said the scale of the dengue outbreak could be measured if samples of larvae were provided to the research team. He said the group had cloned

and sequenced five genes of Serotype 2, performed Phylogenetic analysis, studied partial sequences from DF and DHF patient and predicted the chances of DENV outbreak for KP government by detecting virus in mosquitoes.
Dr Aslam said that 27 per cent of dengue patients were found female while the rest were male. He said Aedes Aegypti used to bite humans outdoors in the daylight and the peak hour of biting was around Asr prayers. He added that the mosquito did not stay indoors.
Dr Waseem Akram said monsoon season had started late in the current year so the time of the outbreak of dengue fever would be different. He said, “We must maintain strict vigilance of breading places of the mosquito to avoid dengue outbreak at a large scale.”
A researcher said that there were positive results of research on Bio-control of dengue fever. Another researcher indicated that people must be made aware of implications of self-medication.
Dr Haroon Ihsan also apprised the meeting of research being conducted by Fatima Memorial Hospital and pointed out various facts helpful for dengue control. Concluding the meeting, Chief Social Mobiliser Shaista Pervaiz Malik said lack of education and religious beliefs, etc were also a big challenge to control the disease.
She said some elements were uselessly politicising Punjab government’s true efforts by hurling purposeless questions on Punjab government’s unprecedented efforts to curb dengue fever.
Dr Mujahid Kamran said the PU students would work as volunteer in Punjab government’s ongoing dengue awareness drive. The VC said PU’s DRG was working on various aspects of dengue fever and its findings would help the government curb the disease and save mankind.

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