PESHAWAR, Aug 25: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department has alerted the district health authorities after confirmation of death of a man from dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) in Nowshera last week, officials said.

“Amir Hassan, 52, of Moti Bazaar, Nowshera, died of the dengue fever last week. He has been confirmed to have had dengue fever,” they said.

They said that Mr Hassan, who was also suffering from hypertension and obesity, initially went to a private clinic in Nowshera to get treatment and later his blood sample was sent to the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, which emerged positive.

The official said that executive district officer (health), Abbottabad, also reported two suspected cases, of which 27-year-old Zubair, a resident of Dheri Kehal, was confirmed positive by the NIH and was being treated at the local hospital.

While another patient from Nowshera who was admitted with similar symptoms was tested negative and sent home.

Health authorities told Dawn that they had intimated the EDOs health to start taking preventive measures for the dengue fever because cases had now been emerging. “Guidelines regarding the identification and management of the diseases had also been circulated,” they said.

Two suspected cases have also been reported from the Khyber Teaching Hospital. Both were sent home after giving symptomatic treatment to them, said the officials.

They said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had recorded 43 cases and seven deaths from dengue fever in 2009 which meant that the virus was prevalent and could pose serious threat if timely measures were not taken immediately. As many as 58 deaths had been recorded of the total 2,098 confirmed cases in the country in 2009, the officials said.

The mosquitoes-borne disease is endemic in Hazara division and Shangla district. It spreads through the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito that rests indoor, in closets and other dark places.

This mosquito breeds in stored, exposed water collection system, barrels, drums, jars, pots, buckets, flower vases, plant saucers, tanks, discarded tyres, water coolers and other places having standing rain water.

The EDOs had also been asked to spread awareness among people and educate them to wear full-sleeve clothes and long dresses to cover the limbs and use repellents, mosquito coils and electric vapour mats, insecticide treated nets (ITNs) to prevent mosquito bites. Fogging, insecticidal and larvicidal sprays on the outskirts of the affected areas should be conducted.

The officials said that the whole of Moti Bazaar had been fumigated with permethrine insecticide because the patient had his office there and used to remain in his office from morning to evening.

The staff of Cantonment General Hospital Nowshera has also been sensitized and a session of awareness about the symptoms of dengue fever had been conducted.

The officials said that contacts of the patients were examined for any symptoms of dengue fever, but none of them had any problem. The health department has also distributed insecticides treated nets in the area in Nowshera.

Identical measures have been put in place in Abbottabad from where two suspected cases had been shifted to Rawalpindi.

The WHO in collaboration with the health department has also appointed focal persons to the government hospitals at the district level to enhance its activities in the districts and to send regular reports on daily basis.

All the EDOs had also been asked to establish isolation wards in their respective district hospitals to ensure surveillance for the detection of new cases both at the community and health facilities level.

Symptoms of dengue fever include high fever, severe frontal headache, retro-orbital pain, myalgia, arthralgia, nausea and vomiting.

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