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June 16, 2019

Dengue fever may move to the region from other parts of the country

Islamabad

June 16, 2019

Rawalpindi : None of the private or public sector healthcare facilities including the three teaching hospitals in town have received significant number of dengue fever suspects so far this year but still it may hit population in the region in coming weeks as the infection has already claimed at least three lives in Karachi this year.

Data collected by ‘The News’ on Saturday has revealed that to date, the Department of Infectious Diseases (DID) here at Holy Family Hospital received only one confirmed case of dengue fever who reached hospital from District Attock, some 90 kilometres from Rawalpindi while a total of 110 suspects have so far reported at dengue outpatient department at the HFH.

The other two teaching hospitals in town including Benazir Bhutto Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital have so far received not a single confirmed case of the infection this year. The DHQ Hospital received as many as 19 suspects of dengue fever this year at OPD though none of these cases were come out to be probable cases.

The HFH has already tested as many as 90 cases negative for dengue fever out of total 93 cases taken as probable cases of the infection while results in two cases was being awaited by the DID on Saturday. The BBH has received not a single suspect of dengue fever so far this year.

The situation is fairly encouraging at the time but still we are not in a position of ruling out possibility of spread of dengue fever in this region of the country as the infection may move to town from other parts of the country particularly from Karachi where the infection has already started hitting population, said Head of DID at HFH Dr. Muhammad Mujeeb Khan while talking to ‘The News’.

He said it is high time for taking precautionary measures to avoid dengue fever and individuals must follow steps to eliminate possible breeding sites of mosquitoes inside homes and offices.

It is important that to date, according to Sindh Dengue Prevention and Control Programme, well over 625 people have been tested positive for dengue fever.

It is worth mentioning here that the outbreak of dengue fever in Pakistan triggered a serious alarm for the first time during a spike of the infection in 2006 that started within areas of Sindh in June 2006 and later spread up to Punjab and the federal capital. During that outbreak that lasted for nearly four months, the NIH had confirmed well above 3000 positive cases of dengue fever that had claimed more than 35 lives, the figure that was reported.

According to District Health Officer Islamabad Dr. Muhammad Najeeb Durrani who is an epidemiologist, the dengue fever mosquitoes both ‘Aedes Aegypty’ and ‘Aedes Albopictus’ are the vectors for causing dengue fever and the female mosquitoes carry one of the four types of dengue viruses from the dengue patient to the healthy person and transmit the disease.

He said rising temperature, humidity, rainfall and artificial flooding, 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 an outbreak of dengue fever to cause the spread of the infection and its outbreak.

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