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ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) health authorities have detected three dengue positive cases in the federal capital in the past 24 hours. According to District Health Officer (DHO) Islamabad Dr Zaeem Zia, out of three dengue cases, two were detected in rural areas of the federal capital and one in urban areas.

During the current season, the district health authorities have detected a total of 17 dengue positive cases, of which, 11 in rural areas and six in urban areas. Following a surge in dengue cases, the district administration has started indoor residual spraying (IRS) drive and in the past 24 hours, the authorities conducted 29 IRS and six fogging operations in the capital city.

The DHO office has already issued a dengue alert for ICT, saying “as dengue index has increased, we are sharing a few important steps you can take to prevent dengue virus”.

The DHO has advised the public to take necessary preventive measures and has also directed the management of medical facilities in Islamabad to prepare for dengue-related illnesses.

The alert shows that dengue could easily become an emergency situation if steps are not taken to control it. The district administration is already putting efforts to control the larvae through various coping mechanisms.

The dengue virus is spread through a specific mosquito in the summer season. They are able to form larvae in places with water. Thus, the authorities always recommend keeping oneself away from water facilities.

The DHO Islamabad has urged the people to take the following preventive measures to protect themselves from the virus: (i) Wear long sleeves, (ii) use repellants and avoid going outside after sunset, (iii) avoid places with standing water, uncut grass and garbage piles, (iv) avoid self-medication but seek doctor’s advice, and (vi) contact field monitoring teams to get dengue spray in your areas.

Dr Zia said the district health administration has deployed all the staff to deal with the dengue situation and at present, the situation was under control.

He said that he himself has visited the field along with the teams and engaged with the community for creating awareness on dengue and monitor surveillance.

“We make sure that all houses are covered following the standard instructions that help us to stop the spread of dengue”.

Dengue results in a deficiency of platelets in the person getting it. It also turns into a life-threatening disease in case there is no proper treatment.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention shares that one may see the following symptoms of dengue: (i) Belly pain, tenderness, (ii) Vomiting (at least three times in 24 hours), (iii) Bleeding from the nose or gums, (iv) Vomiting blood, or blood in the stool, (v) Feeling tired, restless, or irritable, and (vi) It also suggests to see a doctor immediately to ensure proper treatment for the disease.

According to data from the National Institute of Health, Pakistan, during 2022 from January to November reported 75,450 cases of dengue, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province was the most hit area with 22,617 cases, followed by Sindh with 22,174 cases, Punjab with 18,626 cases, ICT with 5,384 cases, Balochistan with 5,205 cases, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) with 1,444 cases. Moreover, 136 dengue-related deaths were also reported, Sindh with 61 deaths was the most-affected province, followed by Punjab with 45 deaths, KPK with 18 deaths, ICT with 11 deaths, and Balochistan reported one death.

A major reason for an increase in dengue cases during 2022 was heavy rainfall, which lead to catastrophic floods causing widespread displacement of people and providing breeding sites for mosquitoes.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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