Friday August 19, 2022

Threat of dengue fever outbreak looms large

July 03, 2022

Rawalpindi : : The population in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi may face a severe outbreak of dengue fever in the coming days depending on temperature, rainfall, and rise in humidity.

The stage is almost set for an outbreak as 26 individuals have already tested positive for dengue fever from the twin cities and the virus has already claimed a life in the federal capital. It is important that confirmation of patients from a region increases the chances of the spread of dengue fever.

The dengue mosquitoes, ‘aedes aegypty’ and ‘aedes albopictus’ are vectors that cause dengue fever as the female mosquitoes carry one of the four types of dengue virus from the dengue patient to the healthy person and transmit the disease.

To date, a total of 12 patients have been confirmed positive from Rawalpindi district and 14 from Islamabad Capital Territory. The reporting of confirmed dengue fever patients in the last month proves the existence of dengue fever vector in abundance in the region making the situation alarming.

The teams of district health departments in Islamabad and Rawalpindi have been finding larvae in abundance during indoor and outdoor surveillance. Data collected by ‘The News’ has revealed that the dengue fever vector was found in well over 180 houses in Rawalpindi in the last 10 days of June.

Studies reveal that the population of dengue fever vector fluctuates with temperature, rainfall, and humidity and it is high in the rainy season and low in extremely hot weather during the rainy season, the risk of virus transmission by the vector is greater. Dengue infections are generally occurred during or after rain, as an outcome of rise in vector population.

Preventing or reducing dengue virus transmission depends entirely on controlling the mosquito vectors or interruption of human–vector contact. Control measures are necessary as dengue fever (DF) and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) cases increase proportionally with the larval density.

Many health experts fear a possible outbreak of dengue fever in the region. They believe that it is the right time for taking preventive measures both at individual and community levels. It is time to eliminate possible breeding sites of mosquitoes inside homes and offices and avoid contact with mosquitoes.