Four people have died due to dengue fever — a vector-borne viral disease that can easily be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites — in the month of September, according to the Sindh Health Department.

Dengue fever has gripped several parts of the country in the wake of the rains.

Since the year began, nine people have died of the disease, four of whom died this month.

Mehar Khursheed, the spokesperson of the Sindh health minister, told Dawn.com that four women and five men are among the cumulative victims.

Karachi East has been the worst hit so far, with six deaths from there, and one each from Karachi Central, Malir and Karachi South.

A report issued by the provincial health department on Monday said that in the last 24 hours, 113 new dengue cases were reported in Sindh, out of which 107 were from Karachi.

In the metropolis, the highest number of cases were recorded in District East, followed by the Central, South, and Korangi districts.

Earlier, in a tweet, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab said that fumigation sprays were being carried out against dengue and malaria in District East.

Dengue cases across Sindh spiked after monsoon rains. A Dawn report said that the increase in fevers has filled major public and private hospitals across Karachi.

These hospitals are: the Sindh Infectious Disease Hospital (SIDHRC) and Research Centre, Dow University Hospital, Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), National Institute of Child Health (NICH) and Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

Dow Hospital’s Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Zahid Azam said that the hospital was getting 40 to 50 patients for admissions daily.

“Out of these, eight are admitted to the intensive care unit [ICU] while the rest are discharged in a day or two and these cases are followed up in clinics,” he told Dawn.

Guidelines for dengue prevention

Yesterday, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) called upon the government to make ongoing anti-mosquito spray campaigns more effective and drain out stagnant water/sewage from the flood-affected areas as well as Karachi.

The PMA issued guidelines for dengue prevention as well as management of the viral disease, which has already gripped the city as hundreds and thousands of patients are reporting daily at government and private hospitals as well to general practitioners.

“There is no vaccine or specific treatment available for dengue fever and the only prevention is to eliminate mosquitoes. This will also help prevent other mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, currently prevalent in the flood-affected areas, chikungunya infection and Zika fever,” the association stated.

According to PMA’s guidelines on dengue fever management, the disease symptoms begin three to four days after infection and might include high fever, headache, vomiting and pain in the muscles, joints, eyes and bones.

It can also be associated with skin rashes. In the worst condition, there could be bleeding from gums, nose, mouth, ears and other parts of the body.

“Take all preventive measures to avoid mosquito bite with the help of sprays, nets, mosquito mats, repellent solutions, etc. Cover water tanks and clean stagnant water found in or around the house. School management should allow the students to wear trousers and full shirts and get their school premises sprayed against mosquitoes,” the PMA stated.

It added: “In case of high-grade fever, do not take any antibiotic medicine, anti-malarial tablet or aspirin. Always take advice from qualified doctors. Drink plenty of water, eat home-made fresh food, have sound sleep, which will help improve body immunity.”


CORRECTION: A previous version of this story erroneously stated that seven people died of dengue in a 24-hour-period in Karachi. The story has been edited to reflect the correct information. The error is regretted.

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