About two dozen critical patients are being treated at various hospitals of the city. - Photo by AP

LAHORE: A so far undiagnosed disease claimed lives of seven heart patients registered with the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) in the last couple of days, hospital sources told Dawn on Friday.

About two dozen critical patients are being treated at various hospitals of the city. City’s major public and private health facilities are receiving PIC patients daily with low platelet and white blood cell counts, dark complexion, black spots on bodies and bleeding.

Of the latest victims, five patients died in three medical units of Mayo Hospital -- three at south medical ward and one each at west and east medical wards.

South Medical Ward head Prof Dr Irshadul Haq confirmed five deaths and said all these patients belonging to low-income group were getting medicines from PIC. He said 45 cardiac patients were admitted to four medical units of Mayo Hospital during the last two weeks with the above mentioned symptoms.

Prof Irshad said the number of heart patients attended in emergency and outdoor departments was almost double than those admitted to the hospital. He said doctors could not understand complications of the disease in the first week, but later they suspected it might be reaction of some drugs given by PIC.

Allama Iqbal Medical College Principal Prof Javed Akram said a heart patient with above mentioned symptoms died at Jinnah Hospital. He said 29 cardiac patients were admitted to the hospital and 13 of them were in critical condition.

The Punjab government has so far made no serious effort to prevent deaths despite the fact that more than 150 patients are fighting for life at public hospitals of the city alone -- 45 at Mayo Hospital, 29 at Jinnah Hospital, 19 at Services Hospital and 11 at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

According to sources, the disease has taken lives of 19 patients so far and they are all registered with PIC.

A source said health authorities had directed senior PIC doctors probing the causes of the disease not to fix responsibility on anyone for the spread of the disease.

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