The dengue count in Swat is showing no signs of letting up.
Two new cases of the fever were reported from the valley on Thursday, taking the count to a staggering 90. Focal person for the dengue unit at Saidu Teaching Hospital, Roshan Ali said Alimat Bibi, 35, a resident of Sakha Cheena, and Shayan Khan, 14, a resident of Sethi Mills Mohallah, were brought to the hospital where they tested positive for dengue.
“Two males and a female are presently hospitalised,” said Ali, adding 87 patients have been discharged after recovering completely.
The virus has been restricted to a part of Mingora with Sakha Cheena, Sethi Mills Mohallah and Saidu Sharif the most affected areas.
Assistant Commissioner of Swat Ashfaq Khan said the district administration was doing its best to curb the spread of the virus. “If we compare the spread of dengue with last year, it can be clearly ascertained that the district administration has taken proper measures this year to control and eliminate the disease,” he told The Express Tribune.
“Last year, 200 to 300 patients were admitted to the dengue cell every day. But this year only two or three patients are diagnosed with the fever on a daily basis.”
Khan said proper teams have been constituted to visit the affected areas regularly apart from using indoor residual spray (IRS) to eliminate dengue larvae.
The district administration has also mobilised religious scholars and clerics to raise awareness about the spread of dengue and measures to control it. “Regular awareness sessions are held in affected areas to educate the locals about the dengue virus.”
The first dengue case this year was reported on June 3 from Shahdara area in Mingora. Following this, the district health office reactivated the dengue control cell on June 5 to properly tackle the issue. No one has died from the virus so far this year.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2014.