As many as six new patients tested positive for the dengue virus at Saidu Teaching Hospital on Saturday, taking the count in Swat to 62 this year.
This is the highest number of patients recorded in just one day and spread a wave of fear among locals who saw a large-scale outbreak last year.
According to Roshan Ali, the focal person of the STH dengue unit, the six patients admitted to the hospital belong to Skha Cheena, Sethi Mills Mohallah and Faizabad.
Ali maintained the recovery rate of patients is swift because only nine are under treatment, while 53 have been discharged.
The dengue outbreak began in Swat in late June; a majority of infected patients belong to Skha Cheena. The district administration has been making efforts to keep the virus from spreading across the valley by conducting fumigation drives and creating awareness among residents.
However, the discovery of six new cases in one day has made locals doubt the administration’s efforts. “We thought this year the dengue fever will not spread as widely as it did last year and the government would control it, but that does not seem to be the case,” Farooq Khan, a medical practitioner in Amankot, told The Express Tribune.
Dengue fever broke out last year in the month of August and infected more than 9,000 patients. As many as 37 people died as per official figures, but the unofficial count was said to be 63.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2014.