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September 15, 2019

Dengue crisis

Editorial

 
September 15, 2019

With another 234 positive cases of dengue detected in Punjab during the last 48 hours, the dengue crisis is once again becoming a crisis. Peshawar is one of the worst hit areas with almost 900 patients admitted to different hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There are 80 people admitted in Rawalpindi and others in various parts of Punjab. Dengue, borne by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito has turned into an annual scourge for Pakistan. While they have been claims by successive government s that they will be able to control the disease, this has unfortunately not proved to have been accurate. The disease spreads when a mosquito who has bitten an infected person bites a healthy one.

One of the issues is that there are several strains of dengue and it is possible for a person who has already acquired one strain to acquire a different strain later on. In many cases, the disease is more acute when suffered for the second time. According to health workers in Lahore, this is now becoming a problem as more and more patients come in suffering a second bout of dengue. Such patients are more likely to experience the most dangerous form of the illness which involves bleeding from various parts of the body and which can prove fatal. In most cases dengue is a treatable disease and more awareness is required so that people suffering fever and body aches seek medical help as quickly as possible. The early detection of the disease helps treat it rapidly.

The problem meanwhile continues. In Lahore dengue larvae were found in an under-construction plaza on Friday. The DC immediately ordered a complete seal of the under-construction plaza where the larvae were found, and also ordered the registration of a case against the owner of the plaza. Health officials are also checking facilities set up to treat dengue patients in hospitals across the city. The issue is that getting rid of dengue requires long-term measures, including fumigation and steps such as the prevention of standing water. This is especially difficult during the monsoon season but Pakistan will have to tackle its dengue problem before it acquires even more serious dimensions and claims more lives.

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