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August 3, 2018

KP Health Dept issues dengue virus re-emergence alert


August 3, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department on Thursday issued alert about the reemergence of dengue virus.

It said the ongoing rainy season had brought the temperature down and also provided for breeding places of Aedes (Dengue) mosquito. The department said this gave an opportunity to the mosquito to come in contact with humans in the household and immediate vicinity, workplaces, markets, schools and hospitals.

The mosquito and its larvae proliferate in many purposely-filled household containers such as those used for domestic water storage and for decorative plants, as well as in a multiplicity of rain-filled habitats - including used tyres, discarded food and beverage containers, blocked gutters and buildings under construction.

Typically, these mosquitoes do not fly far, the majority remaining within 100 meters of where they emerged. They feed almost entirely on humans, mainly during daylight hours, and both indoors and outdoors.

It has, therefore, been deemed necessary to notify the following (not necessarily exhaustive) preventive measures against dengue for adoption by the general community, government & private sector offices & enterprises:

The Health Department urged people to take preventive measures for avoiding dengue fever as dengue mosquitoes bite during the daytime (in morning for several hours after dawn and in afternoon for several hours before dark) - protect yourself from the bite.

It asked people to wear full-sleeve clothes and fully covered dresses to cover the arms and legs, which are the preferred sites for mosquito bites. "Wear socks to avoid bites on feet. Use chemical repellents. Care should be taken in using repellents on very young children, the sick, weak or the elderly.

Use mosquito coils, aerosols and electric vaporizer mats during the daytime to prevent mosquito bites. Use insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) to protect young children, pregnant women, and old people, in addition to others who may rest during the day. Curtains (cloth or bamboo) can also be treated with insecticide and hung at windows or doorways, to repel or kill mosquitoes," the Health Department said in a statement.

It said all storage water containers should be kept covered at all times, collect and destroy discarded containers in which water collects, such as bottles, plastic bags, tins, tyres, etc. Water-storage facilities at construction sites should be mosquito-proof and construction debris scattered around construction sites should be removed and buried in landfills, it advised people.

It also directed in charge of all hospitals, offices, enterprises, police stations, parks, civic amenities and other public places to depute teams and check premises from end to end to ensure no water is being collected and stands stagnant in any nook and corner.

"Premises with green areas, swimming pools fountains should be extra careful. Water pooling should be avoided when watering plants. Swimming pools and fountains should be drained. Rooftops are especially vulnerable. These should be inspected every two days to avoid water stagnation," said the department.

It said that all overhead tanks should be properly covered at all times and no tyres should be stored on rooftops. It suggested that doors and windows of offices should be protected through wire-mesh grills and vehicles washing should be avoided, or the least amount of water should be used.

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