Dengue, also known as break-bone fever, is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the Dengue mosquito (Aedes). Symptoms start to show within a week or two after the infection. Common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea and feeling of skin rash. When a mosquito bites an infected person, the virus transfers to the mosquito. When this virus-containing mosquito bites another person, the virus enters that person’s bloodstream.
For the first time in Pakistan, dengue broke out in 2011, infecting around 16,000 people out of which 350 died. Punjab Information Technology Board developed an early epidemic detection system for helping the authorities in predicting serious outbreaks and confirmed the reporting of many cases at the hospitals.
Talking about the current situation, dengue has once again stroke Lahore back and on Thursday, Sep 26th, eight new cases of dengue have been detected in Lahore, bringing a total of 92 such cases this year. This is purely due to health negligence and poor coordination between the health department and district administration. Four new patients named Ali Raza, M. Bilal, Fatima and Moeen of age group 21, 35, 35 and 28 respectively, were brought to SIMS (Service Institute of Medical Sciences) for dengue treatment.
Former chairman of PITB Dr. Umar Saif tweeted that technology can help in detecting and controlling dengue. “It [the early detection system] enabled the government to pinpoint and predict dengue hotspots, raising an early alarm, before it becomes an epidemic,” he tweeted.
Steps taken by the government
Government of Pakistan is taking some serious actions to control the problem. On chief minister’s instructions, anti-dengue brigade and vehicles have been activated across Punjab for creating awareness in people by conducting door-to-door awareness campaigns. A team of 20 more doctors from Lahore General Hospital has also been sent to Rawalpindi on account of the reported cases there.
The team of doctors that is sent to Rawalpindi is being led by Dr. Farah Sadiq, to meet the current dengue challenges in Rawalpindi. When we look closely at the entire number of dengue cases in Pakistan, the total has risen to 11,783 cases.
We must appreciate how government of Pakistan is taking some serious steps to treat dengue. Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) is taking steps to promote awareness in people regarding hygiene and dengue precautions by holding multiple dengue and cleanliness drives. The teams of the health department are all reaching the affected areas for conducting sprays against dengue mosquitoes.
People are advised to keep the surroundings clean, spray the doors and windows of their houses, keep away all the stagnant water and keep the doors closed.
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