Rise in dengue cases set alarm bells ringing

A senior health official put the figure of positive cases at 70, hospitals downplay figure.

Mariam Shafqat/sehrish Wasif September 03, 2015
A senior health official put the figure of positive cases at 70, hospitals downplay figure.. PHOTO: FILE

RAWALPINDI: Increase in dengue cases in the twin cities has worried the health officials. Two major hospitals in Rawalpindi have received over 120 suspected patients since January.

The data collected from different hospitals including the Holy Family Hospital (HFH) and the Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) contradicted with figures shared by an official in the Rawalpindi health department.

According to HFH Medical Superintendent Dr Arshad Ali Sabir, the hospital has received 112 dengue patients so far.

According to him, of the total cases, 31 patients were diagnosed positive and 22 were diagnosed negative.

However, a senior official in the health department, wishing not to be named, said that 70 people have so far been tested positive for the dengue fever in Rawalpindi.

He said that of these, 65 per cent cases have been reported at the HFH, five per cent at the District Headquarters Hospital and the rest at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH).

“This year so far the Rawalpindi district has reported the highest number of dengue cases in the Punjab province,” he said, adding that dengue patients started pouring in hospitals in August against happening of the same in September last year.

Similarly, around 12 dengue patients were admitted to the BBH during the past week, of them four were discharged after treatment while the rest were still under treatment.

According to Dr Umer Riaz, a postgraduate trainee at the BBH dengue ward, one of the patients was in critical condition.

Dr Riaz said that the dengue fever was classified into three stages and the first two stages or symptoms include high fever, joint and bone pain, vomiting and rash etc.

He said that critical patients require an ultrasound to determine the thickness of gallbladder and liver.

He said such patients were treated by administering four to five litres of intravenous IV fluids for over 48 hours.

“Though since January, the health department is making all out efforts to control the spread of the disease, cases continue to emerge,” the official said adding that the health department should not be solely blamed as many other departments were also responsible for it.

“In Rawalpindi, many places have a water shortage and people store it in buckets, cooking pots, water gallons without covering it and these provided a favoaurbale breeding ground to the dengue,” he said.

Meanwhile, another health official said that a total of 10 dengue positive patients have been admitted to two major hospitals in Islamabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2015.


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