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August 23, 2019

Dengue fever spread in Potohar takes shape of outbreak

National

August 23, 2019

Rawalpindi: The dengue fever spread in this region of the country has started taking shape of an outbreak as the allied hospitals in town have tested as many as 147 patients positive for dengue fever in last one week taking the total number of confirmed patients of the infection so far registered with the three teaching hospitals to 250.

At this point in time, till August 22, the allied hospitals have never received such a huge number of confirmed patients of dengue fever in last five years and it makes the situation alarming.

Comparing the data of dengue fever patients in the past reveals that during the last 12 years, the population in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi faced the worst ever dengue fever outbreaks in 2015 and 2016 with well over 4500 confirmed patients in 2015 and over 3900 cases in 2016.

However, till August 21 in 2015, the allied hospitals had tested only 13 patients positive for dengue fever while till August 20 in 2016, the number of confirmed dengue fever patients at the public sector hospitals of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi was 41.

In 2016, the dengue fever outbreak claimed at least eight lives at the three allied hospitals in town and three lives in hospitals in the federal capital. Data collected by ‘The News’ has hinted towards an early outbreak of dengue fever in the region with sharp increase in number of cases that may turn out to be the most severe outbreak of the infection though the dengue fever has claimed no life so far.

Epidemiological evidence shows that the peak season for transmission of dengue fever starts by the end of August or in the beginning of September while the maximum number of cases of the infection is reported from September to November in this region of the country.

Data collected by ‘The News’ on Thursday reveals that till Thursday, a total of 90 patients have been tested positive for dengue fever at Holy Family Hospital, 85 at Benazir Bhutto Hospital and 75 at District Headquarters Hospital in town.

It is important the allied hospitals had to receive confirmatory reports in as many as 49 probable cases of dengue fever while in last 48 hours, the allied hospitals tested 50 patients positive including 31 at HFH, four at BBH and 15 at DHQ Hospital.

As many as 72 patients of dengue fever were undergoing treatment at the three teaching hospitals including 51 confirmed cases of which 10 were suffering from dengue haemorrhagic fever.

On Thursday, as many as 10 dengue fever patients including two patients of DHF were undergoing treatment at high dependency unit at the HFH while six at HDU in BBH. According to many health experts, the situation is becoming more and more alarming as the incidence of the infection is showing a continuous upward trend for the last one week.

Data reveals that from July 1 to August 15 this year, the allied hospitals received a total of 103 confirmed cases of dengue fever while in last one week, the num-ber has crossed the figure of 250.

Health experts believe that it is time to take preventive measures more seriously by both the concerned government authorities and individuals otherwise the population in the region have to face much severe outbreak of the infection in its peak transmission season.

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