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Karachi’s second dengue death reported

KARACHI, Nov 29: Contrary to popular expert opinion that the dengue virus subsides in winter, yet another death was confirmed by the health authorities on Thursday, amidst reports of a surge in the number of dengue cases.

An official of the Sindh government’s dengue surveillance cell said that a 20-year-old woman, a resident of Kharadar, had been admitted to the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) on Nov 27 and died a day later during treatment.

He said that this was the second case of dengue haemorrhagic fever reported in Karachi this year.

The surveillance cell came to know about it on Thursday, he added.

The first dengue-related death was also reported from the AKUH, in September. A 78-year-old woman had died at the hospital on Aug 31.

According to the daily summary report of AKUH, 388 dengue patients were reported this year. Out of them 147 were admitted while the remaining 241 were seen in the OPD. All patients, including the 12 reported on Thursday, tested positive for dengue.

Speaking at different public awareness seminars in recent months, senior infectious diseases experts had maintained that the late advent of monsoon was a blessing in disguise since there would be fewer cases of dengue even during the peak months.

They had also said that the surge in dengue cases would be limited to two months — from the beginning of monsoon till mid November — and the number of dengue cases would drop significantly at the arrival of winter.

However, the people were sceptical about popular expert opinion in view of little efforts taken by the government to contain the spread of mosquitoes. The residents of Federal B. Area, Shah Faisal, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Malir, Gulistan-i-Jauhar and other areas said that they did not see fumigation and pesticide spray being done in their areas.

Since January, a total of 616 people tested positive for dengue in the city. Of them 146 were reported from the Civil Hopsital Karachi, 28 from Liaquat National Hospital and 23 from Ziauddin Hospital.

According to the dengue surveillance cell, the highest number of cases was reported in November, just as winter is announcing its arrival in the city.

In 2011, 858 dengue cases and 16 related deaths had been reported from Karachi.