17 die of dengue fever, 9000 cases reported across Pakistan


By Nasir Aijaz
AsiaN Correspondent

Islamabad: A health official said that 8,933 dengue cases have been reported from across the country, while 17 people lost their lives during the current year.

Chief of Disease Surveillance Divi­sion at the National Institute of Health (NIH) Dr. Rana Safdar told the media that 2,132 cases were reported from Sindh province, 2,076 from Punjab, 1,772 from Balochistan, 1,612 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1,206 from the federal capital and 92 from Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi have been badly hit by the disease.

“As many as nine casualties have been reported from Sindh, three each from Islamabad and Balochistan, and two deaths have been reported from Punjab,” he said.

However, the casualties may increase, as several deaths remain unreported.

“Field response is under way in the identified hotspots in Rawalpindi and Islamabad focusing awareness raising and vector control i.e. distribution of bed nets among confirmed cases, vector control through larva source management activities in houses, covering/sealing of open water containers and distribution of larvicidal chemicals, door-to-door distribution of pamphlets/hand bills, announcements from mosques, and group meetings in the affected community,” Dr. Safdar said.

He told that dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection transmitted by the female mosquitoes of the species Aedes Aegypti and, to a lesser extent, Ae. Albopictus. This mosquito also transmits Chikungunya, Yellow Fever and Zika infection.

According to local media quoting official sources, dengue fever has affected over 200 Chinese who are working on a project in Karachi; however, the condition of the patients is stable.

“Provincial Minister for Health Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho has also confirmed the reporting of 200 dengue fever cases from one specific area of Karachi and said that the affected persons are Chinese,” the reports said.

The number of dengue cases reported from across the country was 3,204 that included 2,088 from Sindh province, 69 from Balochistan province, 539 from Punjab province, 332 from Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw province and 175 from Tribal areas.

The first confirmed outbreak of dengue fever in Pakistan was in 1994, but a sudden rise in cases and the annual epidemic trend first occurred in Karachi in November 2005.

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