ISLAMABAD-The citizens of federal capital have breathed sigh of relief as the number of dengue patients to the hospitals have come down in changing weather conditions. According to health experts, with the dip in temperature the environment is no more favourable for mosquitoes to breed.

Spokesman Federal Government Polyclinic (FGPC) hospital, Dr Sharif Astori said that changing weather condition has resulted decline in number of incoming dengue patients to the hospital unlike past situation when dengue epidemic had gripped most areas of the capital.

He expressed the hope that a complete control of the dengue cases is likely due to expected very cold weather. He however said that the danger of carrying disease is still existed in some high-risk areas of the city. He said that the dengue virus grows and spreads faster at higher temperature, but slows when temperature are lower or fluctuate. He added under the coolest conditions, at 18 degrees centigrade, the virus grew very slowly and did not spread to salivary glands, reducing the chance that the mosquitoes could transmit it to humans. He said that the growth of the aedes aegypti mosquito will stop in cold weather. The rate of decline has been slower than expected during last month, he added.

He said that the hospital has provided free medical treatment to 6,006 confirmed dengue patients so far. He added the hospital has still allocated 10 beds for dengue patients.

He said so far nine dengue patients had lost their lives from the disease at the hospital. He said 17,506 suspected dengue patients visited the hospital with disease like symptoms.

Spokesman PIMS Dr Wasim Khawaja said, “We need to make plans for next year to destroy possible breeding places for mosquitoes so that we can limit the number of dengue cases next year.” He said by taking special preventive measures citizens can avoid from carrying dengue virus and asked the citizens to properly dispose of solid waste and stop water storage practices at their residences to prevent any access to egg-laying female mosquitoes.

He said mosquitoes breed primarily in containers like earthenware jars, metal drums and concrete cisterns used for domestic water storage, as well as discarded plastic food containers, used automobile tyres and other items that collect rain water.

He said dengue viruses are transmitted to humans through the bites of infective female Aedes mosquitoes. He added mosquitoes generally acquire the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person.

He said the virus circulates in the blood of infected humans for two to seven days, at approximately the same time as they suffer from fever. He added the clinical features of dengue fever vary according to the age of the patient. Dr Khawaja said after virus incubation for eight to 10 days, an infected mosquito is capable, during probing and blood feeding, of transmitting the virus to susceptible individuals for the rest of its life.

He said dengue hemorrhagic fever is a potentially deadly complication that is characterised by high fever, hemorrhagic phenomena. He said dengue is a mosquito-borne infection, which in recent years has become a major public health concern.