MINGORA: With five new dengue patients identified on Monday, the total number of people diagnosed with the virus in Swat spiked to 43 on Monday. According to Roshan Ali, the focal person of the dengue unit at Saidu Teaching Hospital, five people brought in from Amankot tested positive. “Since all these patients had mild fever, they were sent home,” he stated. Health experts said dengue fever had not taken as severe a form as last year and patients usually recovered within two to three days. “Many patients do not go to government hospitals as they prefer to stay at home or visit private clinics for treatment,” Rozi Gul, a medical practitioner in Amankot told The Express Tribune. He added that people believed they now understood how the fever is supposed to be treated. Last year, dengue affected more than 9,000 people, mostly in lower Swat. According to official figures, 37 people died from the virus while unofficial estimates suggest the number could be as high as 63.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2014.