Dengue fever case detected in Lahore

Published October 29, 2006

LAHORE, Oct 28: The first case of dengue fever in the city was confirmed by the Shaikh Zayed Hospital administration here on Saturday.

A youth of Misri Shah was brought to the hospital a couple of days ago with high-degree fever. His blood samples, sent to the Aga Khan Hospital, were found positive for the disease and he was still under treatment, the SZH administration confirmed.

A spokesman claimed the hospital was providing complete treatment to the patient, and he was recovering. However, he denied a report that two patients at the SZH died due to dengue fever the other day, saying the deaths were caused due to liver failure. He said the hospital administration had informed the federal and provincial health authorities about the confirmed dengue fever case in Lahore.

Besides this, he said, there were three more suspected cases in the SZH whose samples had been sent to the AKH for necessary tests.

Meanwhile, the Punjab health department is yet to launch a campaign to raise awareness among the public on dengue fever throughout the province.

Dengue fever is caused by a specific mosquito that stings humans during daylight, especially around the time of sunrise or sunset.

The breeding of such mosquitoes takes place only in clean water containers like drums and buckets, etc.

A dengue patient initially feels flue-like symptoms and suffers from high fever, headache, eye pain, severe joint and muscular pain, nausea, vomiting and skin rashes later on.

To avoid the disease, experts advise that flowerbeds and pots should be kept dry as no amount of water should be left in them; anti-mosquito coils and mats should be used, especially at sunset and sunrise time. The body should be kept covered at sunset and sunrise, mosquito repellents should be used on the exposed parts of the body and mosquito nets can also be used while sleeping indoors and outdoors, they suggest.

Since the disease causes an excessive loss of blood, experts say the hospitals in the province should maintain their blood banks, train their staff, ensure availability of required medicines and make arrangements to quarantine such patients.

Meanwhile, Punjab Health Secretary Javed Malik has directed the health EDOs to take special preventive measures against the possible spread of disease in the province at a meeting held to review the situation, adds APP.

He was informed that not a single death had so far occurred due to the disease while the World Health Organisation (WHO) had activated the Institute of Public Health in the province.

The meeting was also informed that three patients— one each from Khushab, Chakwal and Lahore—were found positive for the fever, who were provided treatment and were improving.

However, WHO’s Punjab co-coordinator Asmatullah Chaudhry said there was no need of panic among the public because of the viral disease.

He further said that the Pakistan Railways had also started fumigation of trains parked at dockyard and added the trains were also fumigated in Lahore and Rawalpindi.

He said the railway authorities would be consulted for fumigation of trains coming from Sindh.

He said the WHO was extending technical support to the health authorities at all levels to combat the disease.



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