Epidemic: Dengue steadily makes its way across Pakistan

Published: September 13, 2011

Virus grips the nation, with 4,044 dengue cases reported in Punjab and 211 in Sindh. DESIGN: MOHSIN ALAM

LAHORE: 

With an alarming increase of dengue virus cases being reported in all corners of the country, government authorities are scurrying to control the epidemic from spreading further. Control cells have been established in Punjab, while medicines and fumigation of international standards are being, reportedly, imported.

So far 4,044 cases of dengue have been reported in Punjab, out of which 3,576 cases have been reported in Lahore alone, Health Secretary Muhammad Jehanzaib Khan said on Monday. The virus has claimed the lives of eight people in Punjab, he added. However, unconfirmed reports state that the death toll in the province has reached 10.

Khan said that out of the total number of cases, a majority of patients have recovered and presently 438 patients are under treatment in different hospitals of Punjab.

The outbreak of the dengue virus has created panic in the provincial metropolis, where wards of public hospitals are overloaded with suspected cases. Seven Chinese citizens working in Lahore also contracted the virus and have been admitted to Jinnah Hospital in Lahore.

The health secretary also said that an inquiry committee formed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has declared that the sprays being used against dengue mosquitos are in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

However, in order to remove any apprehensions of people and for their satisfaction, medicines of international brands are also being imported, he added.

‘Fumigating posh areas’

The total number of dengue cases in Faisalabad increased to 151, with 12 new cases reported on Monday.

According to recent data, the epidemic is rapidly increasing in the city, nullifying the health department’s claims.

The health department had initiated an anti-dengue campaign, which local experts termed ‘improper and ill-planned’ because it did not yield positive results.

Residents of rural areas of Faisalabad denied the existence of ‘a vigorous campaign against mosquitoes’ as claimed by the health department.

They claimed that the health department only fumigated some posh localities, while neglecting the slum areas.

Control cells established in Islamabad

The government on Monday established a Federal Dengue Monitoring Cell at the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) to help counter the spread of the virus in Islamabad.

The establishment of the cell was announced at a meeting held under the newly-appointed Additional Secretary CADD, Khalid Hanif.

The cell will monitor, on a daily basis, all activities going on in the capital regarding prevention and control of the disease in public hospitals. It will also ensure the availability of essential medicines at all public health institutions in rural and urban areas of the capital.

So far, 40 confirmed cases of dengue have been reported in Islamabad, including 15 in the Shifa International Hospital, five in the Polyclinic Hospital and some in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims).

In the last 24 hours, five patients suspected of suffering from dengue fever were admitted to Shifa International Hospital and seven at Pims.

211 cases confirmed in Sindh

With seven new cases of dengue in Karachi, the number of confirmed dengue patients in the province has jumped to 211 this year.

The Sindh health department denied media reports of deaths related to dengue in Karachi and elsewhere in the province.  Coordinator Dengue Control Cell Sindh Dr Shakeel Mullick told APP that from January 1 to September 10, 195 dengue cases were reported to the cell by government and private hospitals in Sindh. These included 169 in Karachi and 26 in other parts of the province. However, he said that there has been only “one death” related to dengue this year in Karachi in February this year.

One death, 19 cases confirmed in Hazara

Health authorities in Abbottabad on Monday confirmed the death of a dengue virus carrier, as well as 19 confirmed cases of dengue in Hazara division, while over 100 suspected patients have been put under surveillance.

The deceased, who hailed from Mansehra district, reportedly died of dengue hemorrhagic fever – the most lethal kind of dengue, official sources told The Express Tribune.

According to official sources, a total of 19 cases of dengue have been reported from the three main districts of Hazara – Haripur, Abbottabad and Mansehra.

A total of eight cases have been reported in Haripur, according to Deputy Executive District Officer Health Dr Muhammad Bilal. He added that no death had so far been reported.

However, independent sources rejected official claims and said that the deaths of four people, including a woman, have been reported from across the district.

Ayub Medical Complex authorities in Abbottabad confirmed a total of seven positive cases of dengue, while four cases were detected in Mansehra district.

However, EDO health Mansehra Dr Maj Sidiq Rehman said that the situation was comparatively better than last year and Hazara division has witnessed a ‘minor incidence of dengue’.

(ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SADAQAT ALI IN ABBOTTABAD, SEHRISH WASIF IN ISLAMABAD AND SHAMSUL ISLAM IN FAISALABAD. ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP)

Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • A suhail
    Sep 13, 2011 - 11:26AM

    Dengue is not native to Pakistan. Anyone care to elaborate how did the mosquito which spreads dengue came over to our country. The mosquito just can’t materialize by itself someone or something is responsible for bringing it to pakistan. An expert opinion will be appreciated.

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  • A suhail
    Sep 13, 2011 - 11:28AM

    Dengue is not native to Pakistan. Anyone care to elaborate how did the mosquito which spreads dengue came over to our country. The mosquito just can’t materialize by itself someone or something is responsible for bringing it to pakistan. An expert opinion will be appreciated.Recommend

  • Dr Noor Badshah
    Sep 13, 2011 - 11:39AM

    I got a group of student who are working on modelling dengue fever in Pakistan. We contacted different organizations in Pakistan to get dengue fever data but we could find data. Some of them refused to give it to us coz they look for their interest.

    Can anyone help us in getting dengue data in pakistan?

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  • Humayun
    Sep 16, 2011 - 12:26PM

    Dengue was exported to Pakistan by the 4 intelligence agencies i.e British, French, USA and a fourth country that is their master which also controls global banking, in order to create havoc and further destabilize the country with the Islamic Bomb after the NRO democratization phase. Those Blackwater agents posing as embassy personnel on diplomatic visas were among those who through vials of the virus and mosquitoes in the waters and into the air all over the country. Those spies were allowed to move around freely and kill people by the NRO government.

    Similarly, aids was manufactured in the labs in DC and exported to africa so that enough resources are left for future needs of the 4 countries who effectively have global control over resources. See the Strekker Memorandum video or youtube to confirm the aids story.
    Dengue comes from a Swahili word which is an African language. Dengue mosquito lives in Africa but was brought to Pakistan by the 4agents of sham democracy so that they could destroy and implode Pakistan from within more effectively while distracting the population from the real issues which include economic development, etc.

    Do you see how freedom was brought to Libya but not to Yemen because Yemen has no oil. the French freedom bestowers now have most of the oil contracts from Libya while the new stooges got a nice cut in their foreign bank accounts which effectively amounts to peanuts.

    Dengue is African not Pakistani and has been introduced deliberately by the 4 through a Trojan horse whose head is that of the NRO President.

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  • Maneesh
    Sep 22, 2011 - 6:07PM

    I am from India and am concerned about the death toll due to dengue. If only someone passes on this information to the affected families. There is no scientific research on the same, but nature always has wonders in store for us.

    Keep on following the doctor’s advise. Parallely do this

    Take two leaves of papaya. Remove the stem. Wash it thoroughly. Crush the leaves with a “hamamdasta”. Use a muslin cloth to squeeze out the juice (abt 1- 1.5 tpsp). Give it to the patient once daily for 3 days. Go in for a platelet count after this. Even the doctors will think it’s a miracle and that there is no scientific explanation for the same. In case the patient is very young and cannot tolerate the bitterness, mix it with honey.

    All the best.

    Maneesh

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  • Afzal
    Oct 7, 2011 - 1:06PM

    The dangue is no doubt serios problem creating fear among masses. The way anti mosquito compaign is being run is like children. All media and government machinery will run after tyre shops. The mosquito reporting web/ sms and telephone be notified. The mosquito has shifted from tyres to other places. It is in open severage lines which are rarely used. Some are busy in point scoring. Those having custody of spray for cities are holding and dumping to entertain paying people only.

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  • Ahsan
    Oct 7, 2011 - 2:30PM

    @Afzal: Yes the spray covering entire city was never done. Spray is done in small scattered areas. Regular spray if done will surely show decrease in dangue patients. All are blaming others as responsible or linking it with international biological warfare. Fools paradise! People are suffering now but one day ruling class and burocrates and spray men selling medicine purchased from Bait-ul-Mall may become victim of mosquito. Please take action before it is over !

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