KARACHI Health facilities are yielding no fruit in the metropolis as dozens of patients suspected with dengue fever are being reported in different clinics and OPD sections of various hospitals.
Health experts have warned citizens to strictly take preventive measures especially against the dengue fever, which can be transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses.
In-charge Provincial Dengue Surveillance Cell Dr Shakil Malik told TheNation that from January 1, 2010 to date, as many as 1758 dengue suspected patients are reported in the whole province, out of which 852 are found positive.
He said, In the megalopolis, more than 700 suspected cases were been reported during the same time period, which shows the level of prevalence of the disease in the city.
Fortunately, the disease has claimed lives of only five patients this year.
More than 70 patients are admitted in various public and private health facilities, including Civil Hospital Karachi, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Aga Khan Hospital, Anklesaria Hospital, Ziauddin Hospital, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center Hospital, Qatar Hospital, Sindh Government Hospital Saudaabad, LNH, NIBD, Karachi Adventist, Kutyna Memon Hospital, Fatima Bai Hospital, Patel General Hospital, OMI Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, OT Hospital etc.
A renowned expert in mosquito species, Prof Dr Jamil Hasan Kazmi of Karachi University, while talking to TheNation on Sunday, said that the torrential rains have created new breeding points in shape of pools.
He said that the temperature between 22 to 30 degree centigrade helps in the breeding of mosquitoes.
Talking about the global burden of dengue, he said, The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades.
Some 2.
5 billion people, two fifths of the worlds population, are now at the risk from dengue.
According to WHOs fresh estimates, there may be 50 million dengue infections worldwide every year.
In 2007 alone, there were more than 890000 reported cases of dengue in the Americas, of which 26000 cases were DHF.
He said that the disease is now endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, South-east Asia and the Western Pacific.
South-east Asia and the Western Pacific are the most seriously affected regions.
Before 1970 only nine countries had experienced DHF epidemics.
In 2007, Venezuela reported over 80 000 cases, including more than 6 000 cases of DHF.
It occurs in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world.
Symptoms appear 3-14 days after the infective bite.
According to him, dengue fever is a febrile illness that affects infants, young children and adults.
Symptoms range from a mild fever, to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash.
There are no specific antiviral medicines for dengue.
It is important to maintain hydration.
Use of acetylsalicylic acid (e.
g.
aspirin) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.
g.
Ibuprofen) is not recommended.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever (fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding) is a potentially lethal complication, affecting mainly children.
Early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management by experienced physicians and nurses increase survival of patients.
As per WHO, Dengue fever is a severe, flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults, but seldom causes death.
The clinical features of dengue fever vary according to the age of the patient.
Infants and young children may have a fever with rash.
Older children and adults may have either a mild fever or the classical incapacitating disease with abrupt onset and high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, and rash.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 11-Oct-2010 here.