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March 13, 2018

Source reduction must to avoid expected dengue fever outbreak


March 13, 2018

Islamabad: As the mercury has started rising in this region of the country, the chances of hatching of eggs and growth of larvae of ‘aedes aegypti’, the vector that causes dengue fever have increased and according to health experts, it is time for both individuals and the concerned government authorities to take proper preventive measures to avoid an outbreak of the infection in the coming months.

At the time, the most important preventive measure is source reduction means elimination of mosquitoes’ egg laying sites particularly in and around houses and offices located in the areas from where confirmed cases of dengue fever have been reported in previous spikes of the infection.

It is evident from various studies that the more the number of mosquitoes ‘aedes aegypti’ or ‘aedes albopictus’ in the environment, the more would be the chances of the outbreak of dengue fever.

Experts say that if proper measures are taken to eliminate the mosquitoes’ egg laying sites at the time, less number of mosquitoes would be active in the peak season of transmission of dengue fever.

By controlling growth of ‘aedes aegypti’ larvae in the existing weather conditions, the spread of dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) can be avoided as the cases of the infection increases proportionally with the larval density, said Additional District Health Officer at Islamabad Capital Territory Health Department Dr. Muhammad Najeeb Durrani while talking to ‘The News’ on Monday.

He said the source reduction certainly results in low number of eggs, larvae and pupae that will reduce the number of adult mosquitoes giving less chance to transmission of the infection in the months to come.

He added the optimal temperature for growth of ‘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 the most important thing at the time to avoid dengue fever outbreak in coming months is to give attention to preparation and control measures both by the concerned government authorities and individuals at homes and offices.

High humidity and temperature are conditions that favour transmission of dengue fever but it happens as long as the mosquitoes are active, he said.

It is important that population in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi have been facing severe outbreaks of dengue fever almost every year mainly because of two reasons, inadequate participation of community and the late response from concerned government authorities.

The concerned government authorities launch comprehensive awareness campaigns against dengue fever every year but after reports of a good number of confirmed patients of the infection.

Many health experts say that the concerned government authorities should launch awareness campaigns in March to convince individuals to eliminate possible breeding sites of mosquitoes from houses and offices while the health departments should work for source reduction seriously.

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