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November 8, 2015

Dengue starts losing intensity


November 8, 2015

The dengue fever outbreak that hit population in this region of the country most severely this year as compared to the spikes in last 10 years has started losing its intensity though still well over 40 confirmed cases of the infection are being reported here at the three teaching hospitals in town.
Data collected by ‘The News’ on Saturday reveals that as many as 383 more patients have been tested positive for the infection in last one week taking the total number of positive cases so far registered with the allied hospitals to 3,506 while this week, the infection claimed another two lives. During the recent spike, the dengue fever has so far claimed 10 lives in all at the allied hospitals of which four died of the infection were residents of other districts.
According to details, Holy Family Hospital tested a total of 1,441 patients positive for dengue fever while as many as 1,603 patients have been confirmed positive for the infection at Benazir Bhutto Hospital and 462 at District Headquarters Hospital. The infection claimed nine lives at HFH and one at BBH so far.
In last 24 hours, as many as 20 patients were tested positive at BBH, 23 at HFH and one at DHQ Hospital. On Saturday, a total of 204 patients including confirmed and suspected ones were undergoing treatment at BBH, HFH and DHQ Hospital while another 16 patients were undergoing treatment relatively in critical condition at High Dependency Units of the allied hospitals.
It is important that the recent outbreak of dengue fever can be termed as the most intense in nature as so far at the alied hospitals, a total of 1,237 patients have been diagnosed with dengue hemorrhagic fever while 67 patients with dengue shock syndrome, the rare forms of dengue fever. The cases of DHF are differentiated from dengue fever on the basis of history of bleeding from gum or skin while the mortality rate of DSS is much higher as compared to dengue fever.
On Saturday, as many as two

patients of dengue shock syndrome and four patients of dengue hemorrhagic fever were undergoing treatment at HFH while four patients with DHF were admitted to BBH and three were undergoing treatment at DHQ Hospital.
It is important that during the recent dengue fever outbreak, the allied hospitals have received well over 38,000 patients at their dengue fever outpatient departments while over 5,300 were admitted to the hospitals for treatment of which 5,083 have been discharged after treatment till Saturday morning.
Data collected by ‘The News’ also reveals that in last eight years, from 2007 to 2014, a total of nearly 3,800 patients were tested positive at the three teaching hospitals in town while this year alone, the number of confirmed patients has crossed the figure of 3,500.
In last 24 hours, the allied hospitals have admitted 69 patients and it shows that the influx is still very high though it is showing downward trend. Till the last week of October this year, the allied hospitals were receiving 70 to 100 confirmed patients of the infection daily on average while at present, 40 to 50 confirmed patients are being registered with the three teaching hospitals.
It is alarming that the HFH is receiving serious patients from other tehsils of Rawalpindi including Taxila, Gujar Khan and Kahuta, however, they are being managed well, said HFH Chief Dr. Raja Shafiq Sarwar while talking to ‘The News’ on Saturday. He, like many other health experts, said that to avert the dengue fever spike in future, there is a dire need of creating awareness among public on the subject of preventive measures. Also effective fumigation drives and awareness campaigns will have to be conducted if we want to eliminate aedes aegypti, mosquito that causes dengue fever, he said. It is worth mentioning here that Sri Lanka was able to reduce the number of Dengue fever cases in just one year – from 15,365 in 2004 to 3000 in 2005 – mainly by running effective awareness campaigns. Health experts have repeatedly expressed to ‘The News’ that the concerned authorities in Pakistan will also have to follow the same suit instead of holding meetings on meetings if they want to curb annual outbreaks which are likely to gather strength over time.

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