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November 8, 2019

Dengue death toll hits 32 as two more children lose their lives


November 8, 2019

Two more children died due to complications resulting from dengue fever at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH), while an 11-year-old boy from Chachro Tehsil of Tharparkar died due to full-blown rabies at the same health facility in Karachi, health officials said on Thursday.

“Moosa Irfan, an infant of three months, was brought to the NICH yesterday. He tested positive for dengue fever and died today during treatment,” NICH Director Prof Dr Jamal Raza told The News. He said the little boy was brought from the Korangi area of the city for treatment.

Similarly, a three-year-old boy, Taimur Hashim, a resident of the Bilal Colony area in Korangi, also died due to dengue fever and its complications at the NICH, said Raza, adding that the boy had expired a couple of days ago due to dengue and other viral illnesses. He said dengue cases are on the rise across the city, adding that since the NICH only treats children, a lot of young patients are being brought in with mosquito-borne illnesses, including dengue and malaria, while kids with water-borne diseases are also being received in large numbers from different areas.

With two more deaths due to the mosquito-borne disease, the death toll in Karachi because of dengue fever has reached 32, said the health officials, adding that over 10,000 people have so far tested positive for the vector-borne illness in the city alone.

Oddly enough, most of the public and private health facilities in Karachi and the rest of Sindh don’t share their data with the authorities, while the Sindh Health Department’s officials also demonstrate reluctance in sharing the actual data and figures with the media.

It is worth mentioning here that an eight-year-old from a far-flung village of District Malir had died due to dengue fever a day earlier at the NICH, while several children from the same area had been shifted to different public and private hospitals for treatment of dengue fever.

Despite daily deaths and the growing number of dengue fever cases, the Sindh Dengue Prevention & Control Programme’s officials claim that a reduction in dengue cases is being witnessed this month as compared to the previous one.

They say that 200 people are testing positive for dengue fever these days as compared to the previous month, when over 300 people were testing positive for the mosquito-borne disease in the province.

Rabies kills boy

Full-blown rabies claimed one more life in Karachi as an 11-year-old boy from Tharparkar died at the NICH a couple of days ago, said Dr Raza.

“Imtiaz Samejo, 11, was brought to the NICH with full-blown rabies from a village in Chachro Tehsil of Tharparkar. When we enquired about his vaccination status, his parents were not aware whether or not the child was given the rabies vaccine.”

The NICH director said they boy was given some kind of injections but they were not the rabies vaccine. He claimed that the NICH had ample supply of rabies vaccine in Karachi.

He said that if a person is administered the rabies vaccine within 24 hours of the dog bite, and the full course of vaccination is completed, they can be prevented from developing rabies. He added that death is not possible due to rabies if a person is given the vaccine after the dog bite.

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