KARACHI: After Korangi and Malir districts reported over 360 cases of Chikungunya in the last month, the newest cases being reported are from Lyari.
Anwar Ali, 25, developed knee pain first, followed by high-grade fever. After that, he suffered joint pain all over his body - the symptoms commonly shared by people who have Chikungunya viral fever. Ali visited a family clinic in Moosa Lane. “Now, I’m feeling much better and can move but still I feel pain in every joint of my body,” he told The Express Tribune.
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Ali requested the government include Lyari among the areas affected by the Chikungunya fever and provide some relief to the residents. Another victim, 26-year-old Shoaib, who lives in Lyari’s Mandhra Muhalla also claimed the virus is spreading fast among the resident of Lyari and a majority of them have not visited government hospitals, which would mean these cases are not counted in government data.
Aziz Mandhro, a social activist from Lyari, was of the view that the government’s refusal to accept that the disease has spread beyond Malir district is inexcusable. “If the government had responded earlier, the spread of the disease could have been restricted,” he said. The government needs to take concrete steps so that Chikungunya can be prevented from spreading further in Lyari, he added.
“I had a high-grade fever when the virus affected me and I was unable to move due to acute joint pain,” said Mandhro. “But now, after almost two weeks, I’m feeling much better with light pain in my joints.”
Chikungunya cases rise to 369
Meanwhile, Lyari’s town health officer Dr Amanullah Abro shared that 14 cases of Chikungunya have been reported so far in Lyari and Kharadar general hospitals. Out of these, 12 cases were reported in the last three to four days. According to him, the virus spread due to the lack of hygiene in Lyari and its outskirts, which needs to be controlled through fumigation.
The blood samples of seven of these 14 cases have been sent to the National Institute of Health in Islamabad for their confirmation, said Karachi health director Dr Waheed Panhwar. The total number of Chikungunya cases reported so far has reached 468, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2017.