ISLAMABAD: The government has formed a rapid response force for prevention and control of dengue virus and improving the level of preparedness in the federal capital.
Addressing a joint press conference here Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Vice Chancellor Professor Javed Akram and Islamabad Additional District Health Officer Dr Najeeb Durrani said that a designated cell was also set up to have a check on dengue situation in the capital.
They said that so far 64 dengue cases were reported in the federal capital during the current season, out of which 15 cases were reported from urban areas while 37 cases were reported from rural areas. They added that all the departments should sensitize general public on the disease besides taking other steps as fever cases were being reported from different parts of the city.
Dr Najeeb said that the district administration had continued its dengue awareness drive from last four months besides spraying anti-mosquito sprays in different areas and advising citizens to avoid using Disprin during dengue. He added that people of age group 15 to 25 years were more vulnerable to carrying the dengue virus.
He informed that classic dengue fever was marked by rapid onset of high fever, headache, retro-orbital pain and diffused body pain in both muscles and bones. The symptoms also include weakness, vomiting, sore throat, altered taste sensation, and a centrifugal rash among other manifestations.
He said that the severity of the pain leads to the term break-bone fever to describe dengue. Sequential infections with different serotypes increase the risk for dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome, he added.
He informed that warning signs included severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, a marked change in temperature from fever to hypothermia, hemorrhagic manifestations, change in mental statuses like irritability, confusion, and thrombocytopenia.
Professor Javed Akram said that it was a responsibility of every public and private institution to play due role in prevention and control of dengue in the federal capital.
He said that the virus exists in 138 countries of the world and even the developed countries couldn’t fully eliminate the virus, however, he added, with proper strategies it could be controlled.
He said stagnant water was the main cause of the spread of mosquito as they breed in it and advised the citizens to keep their houses neat and dry.
He said that PIMS received a total of 18 dengue patients during the current season.
He advised that the patients with dengue fever should be cautioned to maintain their intake of oral fluid to avoid dehydration. He also informed that the dengue was transmitted by mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus which are widely distributed in subtropical and tropical areas of the world.