Virus threat re-emerges with fresh rains

Health dept says accumulated rainwater provides breeding ground for larva


Our Correspondent September 21, 2017
PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: As sporadic rain in different areas turned the weather pleasant in the provincial capital on Wednesday, the health department has warned against the spread of dengue in the metropolis.

Various localities including, Kalma Chowk, MM Alam Road, Walton Cant, Mazang, Kotha Pind Faisal Town and other areas received unexpected rainfall, bringing temporary relief from the blazing heat. However, the provincial health department issued a warning and expressed concern over the accumulation of rainwater and consequent breeding of dengue larva.

64 test positive for dengue virus in capital 

The health department spokesman said September was already a difficult time to control dengue and all departments should strictly follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to control the spread. He said all vital spots where dengue larva could breed should be thoroughly fumigated on the provincial and district levels. He further said effective measures taken at this stage would be beneficial during the whole dengue season.

Dengue Control Additional Director General Dr Farrukh Sultan said vigorous indoor and outdoor surveillance in all the affected districts was continuing. “The room coolers and water containers have become hotspots for dengue larva breeding due to the accumulated water which has still not been drained,” he said.

“During the current year, 116 confirmed dengue patients have been reported in Pakistan so far, out of them 89 belonged to Punjab.”

Meanwhile, the City District Government Lahore, in its press release, said all municipal bodies should keep their machinery on standby and staff should start draining rainwater immediately after rains so that citizens could be saved from any trouble owing to the accumulation of rainwater.

Dengue claims sixth life this year

Meanwhile, health experts also warned against different diseases caused due to the change in weather.

“Due to rain and winter, upper respiratory infections are the major cause of flu and fever,” commented Dr Salman Kazmi, a health expert at Mayo Hospital.

“Upper respiratory infections are one of the most common reasons for different illnesses and most of the victims are children,” he added.

He said the symptoms can occur at any time, but are most common in the fall and winter. This can cause a cough, sneezing, nasal discharge, congestion, a runny nose, fever, scratchy or sore throat.

He said simple techniques such as washing hands properly and covering faces while coughing or sneezing would reduce the spread of upper respiratory infections.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 21st, 2017.

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