The number of dengue virus cases has risen in the district. Allied Hospital officials have reported a total of six confirmed cases of the virus in the district on Sunday.
A few days ago, the local administration confirmed that it was taking serious steps to curb the spread of the virus in the district. “Vaccines have been ordered and we have prepared isolation wards at all major hospitals,” said divisional commissioner Syed Tahir Husain. Husain said that several district coordination committees had been formed in this regard under the supervision of all concerned DCOs.
Local experts have questioned the fact that the administration has not collaborated with any entomologists regarding the spread of the dengue virus. “There are a number of entomologists working at the University of Agriculture and other institutions who are in a better position to guide the administration about safety guidelines that should be taken in this regard,” said an entomologist Naeem Rasheed.
“The hospitals are issuing warnings about dirty water and sewage and while this is bad for other health problems it has nothing to do with the dengue virus. The dengue mosquito breeds over clean water,” he said. The dengue patients admitted at the Allied Hospital include Muhammad Sajawal, Abdul Jabbar, Nasir, M Akram, Zeeshan and Khalid.
The doctors on duty examined the patients and initially dismissed their symptoms as a normal fever. “Patients need to be tested for the virus as soon as they are admitted,” Rasheed said.
Public health experts have warned that if preventive measures are not taken on emergency basis by the concerned authorities, the epidemic is likely to spread. “A majority of the government run hospitals at the Tehsil and rural level do not have isolation wards or vaccines and these are areas that are likely to have a lot of patients if the virus spreads,” said an Allied Hospital doctor.
Health experts pointed out that a patients’ blood should be tested on the spot in the emergency ward by using an Eliza analyser, adding that this would save time and help identify cases much quicker.
Although, so far six dengue cases has been registered in the government run hospitals of the city, the actual number of dengue cases in the district is expected to have exceeded 30. “Most patients are being treated by tehsil hospitals and clinics,” doctors at Allied Hospital said. The district health officer and army of staff have yet to order a spray in the district.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2011.