Dengue fever: WHO issues guidelines

Published October 29, 2006

PESHAWAR, Oct 28: The World Health Organisation has issued guidelines to the NWFP health department for controlling the spread of dengue fever after a boy died of the disease here on Thursday, said an official at the WHO’s Peshawar office.

There is no specific treatment for dengue infection. This is a self-limiting disease. Patients suffering from the disease need symptomatic and supportive treatment such as acetaminophen for fever, rest and high intake of fluids. The disease can be controlled if diagnosed early and the patient is given appropriate treatment.

For laboratory diagnosis, serum specimen should be collected as soon as possible or within five days after symptoms are found in a patient. For serological diagnosis, a convalescent phase sample obtained at least six days after detection of symptoms is required. Acute phase samples for virus diagnosis may be stored un-frozen in a refrigerator at four degree Celsius.

The WHO guidelines also include preventive measures and say there is no vaccine for the disease. The best prevention from the disease is to clean places where mosquito lays eggs. Other methods are use of screens in houses, bed nets and personal protection.

Doctors across the province have been asked to contact the director of the public health department in case of dengue spread.

CASE DETECTED: Second case of dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) in the NWFP has been detected as a 23-year-old man tested positive for the disease here on Saturday.

“The National Institute of Health has confirmed that Feroz Khan has dengue haemorrhagic fever,” doctors at the Khyber Teaching Hospital said.

A seven-year-old boy, Mohammad Jamil, resident of Mera village in Kabal tehsil of Swat, died of the disease on Thursday.

Feroz Khan was admitted to the Khyber Teaching Hospital on October 22 as a suspected patient of dengue haemorrhagic fever. Doctors sent his blood sample to the NIH on October 25 for the test. Its result was received on October 27, confirming that he was suffered from dengue haemorrhagic fever.

“Now, he has been placed in an isolation room under strict vigilance of the doctors. We are treating him symptomatically,” a doctor said.

Mr Khan had been to Karachi 10 days ago and doctors believe that he may have got infected in the Sindh city where the disease has been widely spread.

Meanwhile, the doctors have sent to the NIH blood sample of another suspected dengue fever patient — Mukhtiar Ahmad, 45, of Muhib Banda, Taraqai village, Swabi.

MEETING: A meeting, presided over by NWFP Additional Chief Secretary Ghulam Dasatgir Khan, has decided to launch mass awareness campaign at union council level and provide facilities at the hospitals to cater to the needs of the patients.

The meeting was informed that since the outbreak of dengue fever in the NWFP was a new phenomenon, there was an urgent need for launching a public awareness campaign.

The meting decided that the health department in collaboration with district governments would submit a contingency plan to the finance department to procure insecticides and required equipments, including test kits.

The meeting approved allocation of Rs6million of which Rs5million would be spent on purchase of insecticides and Rs1 million on the campaign.

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