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Islamabad

August 14, 2017

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Peak season for transmission almost sets in

Peak season for transmission almost sets in

Islamabad :The threat of dengue fever spread is very much in existence as the peak season for transmission of the infection is setting in after the recent rainfalls in this region of the country.

According to a number of health experts, no stage is ideally set as yet to avoid dengue fever outbreak in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The health departments did launch campaigns to eliminate breeding of larvae of ‘aedes aegypti’, the vector that causes dengue fever but practically a lot is yet to be done. Countless heaps of garbage and water accumulations existing in almost all localities of the two cities can be witnessed and these hotspots may turn out to be potential breeding sites for breeding of mosquitoes’ larvae.

The threat of dengue fever spread is much intact and chances of incidence of infection would increase few days after the rain spells because the risk factors considered to be the most important for appearance of seasonal dengue fever have already been there, said Additional District Health Officer Islamabad Capital Territory Health Department Dr. Muhammad Najeeb Durrani while talking to ‘The News’ on Saturday.

He added that not a single case of the infection has so far been reported from the federal capital this year while only a couple of cases were reported in Rawalpindi. However, a few confirmed patients of dengue fever from Peshawar reported to have admitted at hospitals in the twin cities, he said.

It is important that rains, rising temperature, humidity and import of infected travellers are considered to be the most important factors for spread of the infection. Dr. Durrani said that next two to four weeks are much crucial and it is high time for all stakeholders particularly individuals to take extra care to avoid contact with mosquitoes.

The effects of temperature, humidity and rainfall along with artificial flooding, the man-made watering of lawns, fields and water spillage, are the genuine factors besides movement of infected patients from areas where there has recently been reported a spike of dengue fever, he said.

He said the mosquito density is maximal in early July, late August and early September while the egg laying activity continues until November though the larval density reaches to its peak in September.

As an epidemiologist, I can say that the risk of incidence and spread of dengue fever is on the rise. The population of ‘aedes aegypti’ fluctuates with temperature, rainfall and humidity. Dengue infections are generally encountered after rain, as an outcome of rise in vector population, said Dr. Durrani.

He explained that the conditions in coming weeks would be most favourable for growth of dengue fever vector as the optimal temperature for ‘aedes aegypti’ larvae is 28 degree centigrade and above this the rate of development is high and below 18 degree centigrade, the growth gets prolonged.

He said individuals should give much attention to preventive measures at the time particularly to avoid breeding and growth of mosquitoes as the population of ‘aedes aegypti’ is high in rainy season and the existing weather conditions are much favourable for mosquitoes to grow.

Epidemiological findings show that a surge in dengue fever cases is witnessed after the rains when an outbreak is already occurring in adjoining areas, districts or other parts of the country. It is time to convince community to keep vigilance and work for elimination of possible breeding sites mechanically that can harbour larvae to develop into adult mosquitoes, said Dr. Durrani.

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