Epidemic of dengue fever
Friday, 10 September 2010
While the city’s health authorities have not yet come up with a comprehensive plan to combat a possible epidemic of dengue fever, government and private hospitals in different parts of the metropolis have reported a sharp increase in the admissions of patients suffering from the mosquito-borne disease during the last couple of weeks, reports dawn.
Senior physicians told Dawn on Thursday that more than 200 cases of dengue fever had been brought to hospitals during the last one week though the monthly average was around 10 previously.
Dr Nasim Salahuddin, an expert on infectious diseases, said that the situation was alarming and health authorities should ensure all preventive and curative measures on time to avoid fatalities and curb the number of severe cases resulting from the dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Dr Bushra Jamil of the Aga Khan University Hospital said that the AKUH had been receiving about a dozen of dengue patients on a daily basis. She said that there had been an increase in number of dengue cases over the recent weeks. She added that August, September and October were peak months as far as reporting of the dengue fever cases was concerned, as weather favoured breeding of mosquitoes during these months.
The relevant government departments had already been updated on dengue prevalence following which the city government health department in a meeting discussed a possible outbreak of the disease and sought help from government and private hospitals representatives in addition to its resolve to make the fumigation staffs functional at the earliest.
However, a source in the city government said that fumigation teams were deployed by their respective town administrations at the relief camps set up for internally-displaced persons in the city. Since the flood-affected people remained their primary concern, the breeding fields of mosquitoes in many parts of the city remained out of focus, added the source.
An official said that massive fumigation campaigns could be carried out only after Eid holidays. At present, field workers are busy in fumigating areas around mosques where Eid prayers would be offered on Saturday, the official added.
Another source said that the dengue surveillance cell of the Sindh health department, which received data from about half a dozen hospitals, had already enhanced its activities on a recent directive issued by Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmad. The cell that used to receive reports about eight to 10 admissions every month had recorded admissions of around 220 dengue patients during the last 10 days, the source added.
However, official in charge of the cell Dr Shakil Mullick said a rise in reporting of dengue fever cases had been observed in the past as well. But, he said, the cases were not being reported by all hospitals and laboratories which were handling dengue patients.
posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, September 10, 2010,
Links to this post: