HYDERABAD - Assistant District Health Officer & focal person of Dengue in Sindh Dr Ahmed Hyder on Monday advised that the people should be timely informed about the ways and means for preventing outbreak of dengue epidemic in the country.

Talking to APP, he said dengue was a dangerous disease and it could be controlled by adopting preventive measures. Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection which in recent decades has become a major international public health concern.

The incidence of the disease has grown dramatically around the world and nearly two fifths of the world’s population are now at risk from this deadly virus.

Dr Ahmed Hyder emphasizes the need to implement the Strategy for Prevention and Control of Dengue which identifies all necessary actions to prevent and reduce the spread of dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Dr Ahmed Hyder informed Dengue and DHF (Dengue Hemorrhage Fever) is endemic in more than 100 countries in the WHO Regions of Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia and the Western Pacific.

He said that South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions are the most seriously affected. Dengue has also gripped Pakistan with an unprecedented intensity and magnitude from the last few years, added. Dr Ahmed Hyder said that the dengue virus is transmitted to its host during probing and blood feeding. The mosquito may carry the virus from one host to another host and the mosquito is most active in the early morning and later afternoon.

About the signs and symptoms of Dengue fever Dr Ahmed Hyder informed that fever, Chills, Headache, Red eyes, pain in the eyes, Enlarged lymph nodes, Deep muscle and joint pains (during first hours of illness), Loss of appetite, Nausea and vomiting, Low blood pressure and heart rate and extreme fatigue, he added.

About the treatment Dr Ahmed Hyder has said that there is no specific treatment to shorten the course of dengue fever. He said that medications are given to alleviate the signs and symptoms. Aspirin should not be given to patients. It will cause severe bleeding.

He said that in this case the bed rest is essential to a speedy recovery and the patient should consume plenty of water, which will help to alleviate the illness.

About the precaution he said that the people avoid wearing dark and tight clothing because mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours.

Wear loose, white and long clothes, which cover the whole body. Mosquitoes find it difficult to bite through loose clothes than tight fitting clothes, he said.

Dr Ahmed Hyder informed that the Sindh Health Department acted well before that time and Fumigation drive and Mass Awareness drive has started.

Dr Ahmed Hyder suggested in the in environmental conditions that people to sleep under mosquito netting or in a room, which has mosquito screens on the windows. Mosquitoes are unlikely to bite in an air-conditioned room and under strong fans. He said that the mosquito coils are also useful to help prevent mosquitoes from entering the room.

He further advised that avoid reduce outdoor activities during morning and late afternoon because Aedes mosquitoes are daytime feeders.

Dr Ahmed Hyder also emphasized that the best solution to get rid of this deadly Dengue virus, is to create awareness among the people. Sindh government has recently taken different steps in this regard, as it has issued different pamphlets, carrying the precautionary measures and symptoms of the disease, Dr Ahmed Hyder added.

He said that currently the only effective way to avoid dengue infection in areas where the disease is endemic or epidemic is to avoid being bitten by injected mosquitoes through the use of insect repellent and other insect barriers.

Dr Ahmed Hyder also emphasizes the importance of circulating awareness via the media, through information leaflets and manuals, because once an epidemic starts to wean off, people tend to forget.