KARACHI, Oct 27: The number of deaths due to mosquito-borne diseases increased to 24 in the megapolis as two more patients, including a pregnant woman, fell victim to the disease on Friday at the JPMC.

The latest victim was Pervez Salim, 35, a resident of Future Colony, Landhi, who was brought to JPMC a couple of days back with the history of high grade fever, bleeding and rashes. The patient, a suspected case of viral haemorrhagic fever, died in the wee hours of Oct 27, said a senior doctor.

In the meantime, Dawn has gathered that many hospitals handling VHF or dengue case are ignorant of the establishment of dengue reporting and surveillance cell by the Sindh government.

Had the cell been able to properly collect information pertaining to VHF or dengue patients, the relevant figure could have almost doubled, sources said.

When contacted an officer from Darus Sehat, a hospital in Gulistan-i-Jauher, said his hospital received about 50 suspected patients, males and women, during the last over 20 days, out of which 22 were detected dengue positive.

“We discharged two of the dengue patients on Thursday,” said the officer, adding “patients have been reporting from Gulistan Jauher, Pehlwan Goth, Bhittai Colony and other areas.”

The deputy director and in charge of the casualty and emergency ward of JPMC, Dr Seemi Jamali, told Dawn that a record number 919 patients were attended at the casualty and emergency ward on Oct 26 which included about 500 patients suffering high grade fever.

The awareness created through media and doctors’ forum has helped people a lot.

If those affected by mosquito-borne diseases are attended timely, risks could be minimised.

Dr Jamlai, said a number of patients have been admitted for VHF treatment, while their dengue fever tests are due.

Dr Jamli informed that apart from Pervez Salim who died very shortly after his admission to the hospital in the early hours of Friday, a women, Jamila, 30, who was a 20-week pregnant died in the gynaecology wards a couple of days back.

The woman victim was brought to the hospital on Oct 21 with the history of high grade fever, bleeding from several sides and rashes.

She said JPMC received 214 VHF suspected patients since Sept 22, out of which 20 had been detected dengue positive, while the death toll reached to nine on Friday.

In the meantime, the total number of VHF suspected patients brought to the city government hospitals and private outlet during the last four months swelled to over 1,561 on Friday, while the number of dengue positive cases increased to 488.

According to the data received from Sindh health department, the current death toll from dengue virus infection in Sindh stands at 27, including 24 those reported from Karachi.

However, a press release issued by the Aga Khan University Hospital said on Friday that at present 44 patients were hospitalized with suspect haemorrhagic fever, while 314 patients were admitted between June 14 and Oct 27, of which eight could not survive due to severity of the disease.

However, the AKUH did not give details about the sudden increase in the death toll.

Dr Abdul Majid, additional health secretary and In charge of VHF Surveillance Cell told Dawn that as many as 78 patients, including 77 living at Karachi, were admitted to different hospitals of Karachi and other districts of Sindh on Friday, while 92 of the in-house patients were discharged after treatment.

According to Dr Majid, the total number of patients with dengue fever symptoms admitted to different hospitals in the province so far since June, 2006 stood at 1,576, out of which 493 were confirmed as dengue positive cases.

As recorded by the Sindh health department, as many as 184 fresh patients, with symptoms similar to dengue fever, were admitted to 13 hospitals on Friday.

Failing to see any downward trend in dengue or VHF cases, senior citizens have urged the City District Government of Karachi to review its mosquito control measures as data and details of dengue disease have assumed an alarming proportions.

A doctor from Saddar area said prevention and control of epidemic dengue required effective control of Aedes aegypti, the specific female mosquito, blamed for the disease. Now the city government and its town administrators should make it a point to ensure that all measures should ideally be intensified before the transmission session, during and after rainy seasons rather than on response measures.

Patients came from Nazimabad, Orangi town, Baldia Town, North Nazimabad, New Karachi, North Karachi, Federal B Area, Shah Faisal Colony, Malir, Landhi, Korangi, PECHS, Bahadurabad, Liqauatabad, Gulistan-e-Jauher, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Saddar, M A Jinnah Road, Defence and Clifton.

According to official figures, the patient position at different hospitals of Karachi was as follows on Friday at 2 pm:

AKU 35 (21 new cases), Liaquat National Hospital 16 (13 new cases), Civil Hospital 10 (six new cases), Ziauddin Hospital 30 (10 new), JPMC-40 (15 new), Bismillah Taqi four (one new), NICH eight (four new), Abbasi Hopsital-12 (two new cases) and Baqai Hospital-23 (five new cases).

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