Dengue Fever is caused by a virus that is mainly transmitted by the bite of female Aedes aegypti mosquito. Every year, an estimated 400 million individuals worldwide are infected with the dengue virus, with 100 million becoming unwell and 21,000 dying as a result.
Dengue fever outbreaks are linked to the monsoon season, which usually lasts from July to October in Pakistan. The yearly monsoon rains in Pakistan are typically catastrophic due to insufficient drainage systems and infrastructure. In 2022, devastating floods affected more than 33 million people in the country. Because of increased mosquito production after heavy rainfall, public health professionals are warning of an increased danger of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue. Flood-displaced people are forced to live in open tents, making them an easy prey for mosquitoes.
Current Dengue Fever Condition in Pakistan:
In Punjab alone, 1034 dengue cases have been reported. In Karachi, 843 dengue cases have appeared since September 1st. According to the information of the Provincial Health Department, two persons have died of dengue in the Karachi division since January 2022, with 3157 patients being treated in various medical centres since the beginning of the year. In Sindh, 510 youngsters have been checked since August, with more than half of them (282) testing positive for dengue.
More cases of dengue virus have been reported in Pakistan as of September, raising worry among the populace because proper health services for flood victims are unavailable. Already these people are fighting for their survival against the damage and destruction caused by the floods.
Symptoms of Dengue.
In the early stages, it is difficult to detect dengue fever in a patient but over time, some serious problems can develop if the patient is not provided with proper medication.
Early Symptoms of Dengue Fever Includes:
- High fever Up to 104F (40C)
- Muscle, bone, or joint pain
- Pain behind the eyes
- Swollen glands
Precaution Against Dengue:
There is no vaccine or specific treatment available for dengue but with early detection and access to proper medical care, fatality rates can be lowered to below 1%. Supportive care with analgesics, fluid replacement and bed rest are usually helpful.
We can overcome dengue by doing a few simple actions:
- Prevent mosquito bites.
- Cover, empty and clean domestic water storage containers.
- Apply Mosquito Repellent.
- Use personal household protection such as window screens, long-sleeved clothes, insecticide-treated materials, coils and vaporizers
Due to severe floods in Pakistan this year, the chances of a dengue outbreak are high, but in every dark time, there is always a ray of hope and fighting together against dengue is the only way to overcome any future situation.
The government should provide medical aid, including all necessary medicines to the flood affected areas. Also, by creating awareness about the early symptoms of dengue and preventive measures, we can reduce the number of dengue patients. Since there is no specific treatment for this virus, it can only be treated by developing immunity with complete hydration and a balanced diet.