A Bangladeshi woman in Lahore has tested positive for the dengue virus, the Health Department said on Wednesday. The woman, identified as Cathy, 35, arrived in Pakistan a few days ago. Dr Jafar Ilyas, head of the Dengue Cell, told The Express Tribune that she had tested positive for the NS-1. He said this was the seventh confirmed dengue case in the Punjab this year and the fourth in Lahore. The woman is receiving treatment at Doctors Hospital.
There will be no dengue epidemic this year because of an effective strategy devised by experts and continuous efforts by the Punjab government to raise awareness about the disease, said Khawaja Salman Rafique, special assistant to chief minister on health.
He was addressing a seminar on dengue held at the Institute of Public Health on Wednesday. Rafique said that medical experts and health managers had learnt from “the bitter experience” of last year. Dr Nisar Ahmed Cheema, the Health Department director general; Professor Muaz Ahmed, the Institute of Public Health dean; Dr Inamul Haq, EDO (Health); and Dr Ejaz Ahmad Shaikh, the Ganga Ram Hospital medical superintendent also addressed the seminar.
The speakers described dengue fever as a “social problem”, saying that the entire society needed to be responsible to cope with the disease.
They lauded the government’s efforts and said it was as a result of better vector and disease surveillance that the breeding of mosquitoes was very low.
One of the potential threats identified during the seminar was people storing water in containers on account of long hours of loadshedding. Citizens were told to be cautious while doing so.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2012.