Experts fear a severe onslaught of dengue in the city from mid-October to November.
According to blood disease expert, Dr Tahir Shamsi, the eggs of the Aedes aegypti – the mosquito which carries the virus – reproduce quickly from 30 to 35 degrees Celsius. Last year, 75% of all the dengue cases were reported in October, he said.
However, other experts at a seminar on the infection felt that the low casualty-to-infection ratio proves that the virus is not incurable and, if appropriate measures are taken, the number of deaths can be reduced.
The seminar was a joint effort of Civil hospital’s central lab, Karachi University’s microbiology department and the Sindh Dengue Surveillance Cell. As added incentive to take precautions, they warned that people hoping to travel abroad would find it difficult to acquire visas if preventing such diseases is not taken seriously. Meanwhile, 25 more patients were reported in Sindh in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 491.
The chief of the dengue surveillance cell, Dr Shakeel Mullick, said that 96 dengue patients are admitted in hospitals across the province. There are 28 patients in rural Sindh – one in Larkana, one in Dadu, one in Ghotki, nine in Hyderabad, one in Jamshoro, one in Naushero Feroz, one in Nawabshah, two in Sanghar, three in Shikarpur, two in Sukkur, one in Tando Muhammad Khan, two in Tando Allahyar, one in Umarkot, two in Kashmore and 68 in Karachi. Seven patients have died in Karachi so far, he said.
Governor visits Hyderabad
Hyderabad DCO Ahmed Baksh Narejo told Governor Ishratul Ebad that 37 people in Hyderabad have been diagnosed with dengue.
Hyderabad Development Authority MD Ghulam Mohammad and town administrators briefed the governor about the situation during his visit on Tuesday. Dr Ebad directed the officials to drain low-lying areas to protect the people from dengue and malaria and other waterborne diseases. He also urged them to be on a look-out for other health concerns. “A comprehensive approach must be adopted for the restoration of infrastructure,” he told officials. Ibad called for Tando Jam and its surrounding areas to be drained of all stagnant water without any delay and ordered for all areas to be fumigated.
With additional input from PPI and APP
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2011.