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December 8, 2019

Dengue fever outbreak comes to seasonal close in the region

Islamabad

December 8, 2019

Rawalpindi :The dengue fever outbreak, the most severe in nature in this region of the country has come to its seasonal close though sporadic cases of the infection are being reported at the three teaching hospitals in town that have been receiving less than three confirmed patients of the infection per day on average for the last one week.

Data collected by ‘The News’ on Saturday has revealed that the allied hospitals including Holy Family Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital that received as many as 11,980 confirmed patients of dengue fever from August 10 to November 30 this year have received less than 20 patients in last one week.

In last 24 hours, the allied hospitals tested only two patients positive for the infection that has claimed a total of 41 lives at the three teaching hospitals from September 5 to November 15 this year. The outbreak that proved to be the most severe in nature was the most deadly in terms of deaths, it caused in the region.

To date, a total of 12,000 patients have been confirmed positive for dengue fever at the allied hospitals and of these, over 4,800 reached Rawalpindi hospitals from the federal capital while some 7,100 were residents of Rawalpindi. The allied hospitals received nearly 100 confirmed patients of the infection from other districts of the region.

The outbreak in the region lost its intensity mainly because of fall in temperature as had happened in case of dengue fever outbreaks occurred in last 10 years or so. Health experts say most of the confirmed patients of dengue fever being reported at the time are those who have bitten by dengue fever vector, the female mosquito ‘aedes aegypti’, seven to 10 days back.

The major reason behind seasonal end of dengue fever spread in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi is fall in mercury level as the temperature has dropped down to 20 degree Celsius and below.

Studies reveal that below 20 degrees Celsius, ‘aedes aegypti’ and ‘aedes albopictus’, the mosquito that causes dengue fever becomes unable to mount and feed on humans as their limbs and joints become weaker. Below 13.8 degree centigrade, the mosquitoes’ activity both egg laying and biting ability comes to an end.

It is important that the recent dengue fever outbreak claimed a total of 41 lives at allied hospitals including 25 at HFH, 10 at BBH and six at DHQ Hospital. To date, the allied hospitals tested a total of 12000 patients positive for dengue fever of which 6230 were confirmed positive at HFH, 3465 at BBH and 2310 at DHQ Hospital.

The alarming fact this year was a huge number of hemorrhagic manifestations among dengue fever patients as well over 37 per cent of all patients confirmed positive here in the region had to suffer from dengue hemorrhagic fever. Some 4,500 of 12,000 confirmed patients at allied hospitals were treated for DHF while over 280 were managed for more fatal form of the infection, dengue shock syndrome.

During the dengue fever outbreak this year, the burden of patients remained much heavier as from August 14 to December 1, as many as 87,150 patients visited dengue outpatient departments at the allied hospitals setting a new record in the region. Well over 20000 patients were suspected for the infection and the allied hospitals had to admit over 14,800 patients for treatment of dengue fever.