The first suspected case of dengue fever was brought to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Wednesday.
Javed Iqbal, 46, was brought from Jhelum exhibiting symptoms consistent with dengue. His blood sample has been sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH) for testing, said Dr Altaf Hussain, Pims Joint Executive Director.
A private laboratory tested him negative for dengue. At Pims, however, he has been admitted as a suspected case of the viral fever and is under observation.
Last Friday, a 52-year-old man from Nowshera, suffering from dengue, died of high fever at Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi.
Health authorities have been asked to take preventive measures to protect the citizens of the federal capital from the virus.
According to health experts, active monitoring and surveillance of mosquitoes is necessary to keep a check on spread of the dengue virus.
They said mosquitoes breed primarily in man-made containers like earthenware jars, metal drums and concrete cisterns used for domestic water storage, as well as discarded plastic food containers, used automobile tyres and other items that collect rainwater.
Dr Wasim Khawaja of Pims said mosquitoes generally acquire the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person. The virus incubates for eight to ten days, after which an infected mosquito is capable of transmitting the virus to susceptible individuals for the rest of its life.
He said the virus circulates in the blood of infected humans for two to seven days, at approximately the same time as they suffer from fever.
He added the clinical features of dengue fever vary according to the age of the patient.
The fever usually continues for two to seven days, he said. In moderate dengue haemorrhagic fever cases, all signs and symptoms abate after the fever subsides, he added.
Additional input by APP
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2011.