Five more suspected dengue cases surface in Pindi

Health officials from the twin cities take preventive measures.

Mudassir Raja/sehrish Wasif September 06, 2011


Five more suspected dengue fever patients have been admitted to Holy Family Hospital (HFH), The Express Tribune has learnt. The five patients came from Koh-i-Noor Mills area, Gharibabad, Dhoke Hassu, Kallar Syedan in Rawalpindi and Daultala in Gujar Khan Tehsil.

So far 14 patients suspected to have contracted dengue virus are currently admitted to three hospitals of Rawalpindi. According to data compiled by the District Public Health Office, 10 suspected dengue patients are admitted to HFH, three at District Headquarter Hospital (DHQ) and one at Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH).

Officials of the three hospitals said that so far they have received 35 suspected dengue patients for the last one month. Of them, 20 have been tested negative for dengue. Their blood samples were sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH).  Only one patient tested postive for the virus. The 50 years old man died on August 13 at HFH. The patient was brought to the hospital from Nowshera.

According to sources, National Institute of Health (NIH) did not receive statistics on the reported dengue fever cases from across the country during the Eid holidays which is causing difficulty in updating the latest figures. Therefore a request has been sent to the provinces to send the updated data. Currently 18 confirmed cases of dengue fever have been reported from the twin cities, out of which 12 are from the capital.

With scores making a return from their hometowns after the long Eid break, there is a lot to worry for the health officials of the capital. Vulnerability to dengue has increased with copious rainfalls over the last week and as routine business resumes in the capital, it is feared that more might fall prey to this epidemic.

The hospitals in the capital therefore have also started taking special measures to pre-empt an outbreak of the disease.

Considering the situation, a meeting was held at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) on Monday to streamline treatment facilities for the dengue fever patients coming to the hospital. Compilation of profiles of these patients is also being considered.

Sharing the details of the meeting Professor Mehmood Jamal, executive director Pims told The Express Tribune that it is expected that more cases of dengue fever will come to the hospital after Eid holidays. Further, a large number of people went to celebrate Eid where there is already an outbreak of this disease. It is feared that many may have been bitten by a dengue mosquito,” he said.

An increase in the burden is also expected due to the recent strikes conducted by doctors of the hospital. “Patients will start pouring in as the hospital opens after the long break,” said another official.

Considering all these factors, a seven-member committee has been constituted who will look after all the dengue fever patients and will gather data.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Dr Sharif Astori, spokesperson Polyclinic Hospital said they have designated two rooms for the dengue fever patients depending on the seriousness of the case. A special medical team has been constituted for this and Dr Mehdi will be the focal person. “We have ample amount of mosquito nets in the store and all the required medicines,” he added.

Dr Astori said to date only six suspected cases of dengue came to the hospital but were discharged after being diagnosed negative. “However there are chances that people coming from Lahore might carry this disease which could result in the out break,” he said.

Moreover, District Health Officer (DHO) Rawalpindi Dr Khalid Randhahwa said they started fumigation in the rural area to cope with any epidemic situation and fumigation in urban areas will be carried out by the town municipal administrations.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2011.


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