ISLAMABAD: Dengue cases exceeded the previous record in the country amid better surveillance and follow-up of officials' claims.
At least 47 people have died and more than 30,000 have contracted the virus so far this year, according to official figures. But the disease is not as deadly as in 2011 when 370 people died.
According to a document available with Dawn30,098 is the number of confirmed dengue cases in the whole country reported so far this year with the maximum number of reported cases of Islamabad, that is, 8,245 and the minimum number of Baluchistan cases that is 2,776. So far, Punjab has reported 6,629 cases, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 5,229 and Sindh 5,190 cases. The remaining numbers are from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and tribal districts.
Up to 17 people died from dengue in Islamabad, 16 in Sindh, 10 in Punjab, three in Balochistan and one in AJK.
The disease is currently not as deadly as in 2011 when 370 people died.
The Chief of the Disease Surveillance Division of the National Institute of Health, Dr. Rana Safdar, said Dawn that the increase in the number of dengue cases was due to better surveillance and monitoring of the virus. "This time there is an unprecedented response in history [of the country] to any outbreak For the first time, the Emergency Operations Center [EOC] It has been activated at the National Institute of Health for the dengue outbreak. The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza, chairs a daily meeting at 8.30 am to monitor the evolution of the situation, "he said.
“Our statistics are much better compared to other countries, but our task is not over. Based on our recent experience, we will develop a comprehensive multisectoral national action plan that coordinates with the provinces to overcome dengue in the coming years, ”added Dr. Safdar.
According to WHO, dengue is one of the top 10 threats to public health in the world, said Dr. Safdar. “This year in the Philippines up to 322,693 cases and 1,272 deaths have been reported, in Sri Lanka 234,078 cases and more than 100 deaths, in Thailand 146,000 cases by September 10, in Vietnam 124,751 cases by September 26, in Malaysia 102,734 cases and 149 on September 26 and in 100,000 cases have been reported with more than 150 deaths, ”he said.
Dengue virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The most common symptoms of dengue fever are high fever accompanied by muscle and joint pain. There is no specific vaccine or treatment for dengue, but early detection and proper medical care can reduce mortality. Otherwise, the disease can become a life-threatening hemorrhagic fever, which in turn can cause bleeding and dangerously low blood pressure.
Rapid and unplanned urbanization, lack of sanitation and climate change are contributing to the increase in dengue infections.
Posted on Dawn, October 15, 2019