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October 1, 2019

17,000 tested positive for dengue fever so far

Islamabad

October 1, 2019

Islamabad: To date, well over 17,000 patients have been tested positive for dengue fever, the patients that have been registered with the government while as many as 31 deaths due to the infection have been documented till September 28 this year.

According to a report issued by Field Epidemiology & Disease Surveillance Division (Emergency Operations Centre NIH, Islamabad) Sunday evening, the infection has claimed at least eight lives in the federal capital till September 28, nine lives in the Punjab province and 11 lives in Sindh province while three patients died of dengue fever in Baluchistan.

The Dengue Situation Report no. 14 issued by NIH reveals that till September 28, as many as 2995 patients have been tested positive from the federal capital, 3671 from Punjab, 3002 from Sindh, 3467 from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 2702 from Baluchistan, 322 from KP tribal districts, 417 from AJK and 88 from other areas.

The report says that in last 24 hours, a total of 653 new dengue cases were reported taking tally to 16,664 on September 28. Maximum cases have been reported from Islamabad (218), followed by Punjab (196 including 150 from Rawalpindi), and Sindh (98 including 91 from Karachi). Out of 55 cases reported by KPK, 27 are from Peshawar. One death has been reported in last 24 hours from Islamabad, states the report.

The reports said of the 653 cases, 368 (56%) occurred in twin cities sustaining the status of being the hottest spots. Overall, the combined share of Rawalpindi-Islamabad in 2019 case tally of 16,664 is 6099 (37%).

Within Islamabad, the affected Union Councils include Rawat, Koral, Tarlai and Bharakahu while in Rawalpindi, multiple hotspots are concentrated in Potohar Town including Airport Housing Society, Gulbahar Scheme, Wakeel Colony, Dhoke Munshi and kot Jabbi.

According to report, Karachi has contributed 91 (14%) cases during the last 24 hours and Muzaffarabad, AJK 44 (7%). Based on cumulative data, other districts of concern in KP are Khyber, Bajour, Swat, Haripur, Mansehra, Mardan, Battagram, Dir Lower, and Shangla. In Punjab, Lahore, Faisalabad, Sargodha and Chakwal, while Lasbela in Balochistan is on radar as well, reads the report.

According to the report, the Seasonal Awareness & Alert Letter (SAAL) and Advisory on Prevention and Control of Dengue has been widely disseminated and made available at NIH website: www.nih.org.pk. National Guidelines for Dengue Vectors Control in Pakistan are also available at Directorate of Malaria Control. Website www.dmc.gov.pk.

A Task Force has been notified on 16th September 2019 under the chairmanship of Minister of State for NHSRC to lead the response activities that reviews the situation on daily basis and undertakes requisite measures. Dengue Control & Operations Cell has been set up in Ministry. Public can access Tel: no. 051-9216890 for any queries, complaints and suggestion.

Sufficient beds have been allocated to tackle dengue both in public and private hospitals of Islamabad and the quality of clinical services is being vigorously monitored. The observed case fatality rate therefore, stays at 0.2% well within the limits of less than 1% targeted by the WHO, says the report.

The report reveals that the first cases of dengue fever in Pakistan were detected in 1994, but a sudden rise in cases and the annual epidemic trend first occurred in Karachi in November 2005. Afterwards, Punjab faced a major outbreak of dengue during 2011 reporting almost 22,000 cases with 350 deaths and KP faced the first significant outbreak in 2013 followed by another major outbreak in 2017 reporting almost 25,000 cases with 70 deaths.

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