Preparing for an epidemic: Pindi braces itself as dengue approaches

No confirmed cases reported, however symptoms consistent with the disease.

Express August 11, 2011


Dengue fever cometh, or so doctors and health officials in Rawalpindi fear.

To prepare for a possible epidemic, the office of public health has established a monitoring system with district surveillance coordinator to collect the data of dengue patients.

The administrations of Holy Family Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and District Headquarter Hospital have appointed their deputy medical superintendents as focal persons to monitor the treatment of dengue patients. They have also established isolation rooms to treat dengue suspects and patients after confirmation from the National Institute of Health.

Even though no one has been diagnosed with dengue fever yet, the medical officers at the allied hospitals and health department officials said they have received many patients with symptoms consistent with dengue.

Dr Ummer Saeed at BBH said he has been treating patients suffering from high fever and headache. But, so far, no confirmed dengue cases have been received at the hospital. The information from the other two hospitals revealed that they, too, had received a number of patients with symptoms consistent with dengue in the past three weeks; however none of them had been diagnosed with dengue.

District Surveillance Coordinator (DSC) Dr Ahsan Ghani at public health office told The Express Tribune that none of the allied hospitals had received a patient with dengue.

Dr Ghani is coordinating with the allied hospitals and collecting data about dengue patients to determine the areas where the patients come from. He added that there were reports of patients with symptoms of dengue coming from Haripur, Abbottabad and some areas of Rawalpindi and Chakwal. So far no suspect of dengue has been received from the city areas and the public health department has started identifying the areas to spray to kill mosquitoes, the DSC said.

Executive District Officer Health Rawalpindi Dr Zafar Iqbal said his office had started a fumigation campaign in the city and rural areas.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2011.