DASKA - A DHQ Civil Hospital expert said that dengue is the most widespread mosquito-borne infection in human beings and has become a major international concern in the last few years. Over the last 15 years, we witnessed a dramatic increase in the global incidence of dengue and its severe manifestation such as dengue hemorrhagic fever, Senior Medical Specialist Dr Farah Kamran said while addressing an anti-dengue awareness seminar held at Govt. Postgraduate College for Women Daska. Dengue fever is a severe, flu-like illness with fever, headache and muscle and joint pains that affects children and adults, but seldom causes death. She revealed that dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication in about 1-3 percent of cases that begins with a sudden rise in temperature which usually continues for two to seven days and can be as high as 40-41C. In moderate DHF cases, all signs and symptoms abate after the fever subsides. In severe cases, the patients condition may suddenly deteriorate after a few days of fever when the temperature drops, followed by signs of circulatory failure. With modern intensive supportive therapy, the fatality rates can be reduced to less than 1 percent, she said. Dengue is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The mosquito gets the virus by biting an infected person. The first symptoms of the disease occur about 5-7 days after the infected bite. There is no way to tell if a mosquito is carrying the Dengue virus. Therefore, people must protect themselves from all mosquito bites, she added. Giving details about the dengue mosquito, Dr. Farah said, The dengue mosquitoes bite during the daytime. Protect yourself from the bite. People should wear full-sleeve clothes and long dresses to cover the limbs. Avoid wearing black colour, besides, using repellents. Care should be taken in using repellents on very young children or the elderly. She advised that people should use mosquito coils and electric vapour mats during the daytime to prevent mosquito bites, besides, using insecticide treated nets (ITNs). Curtains (cloth or bamboo) can also be treated with insecticide and hung at windows or doorways, to repel or kill mosquitoes, she added. To different questions raised by students and professors, Dr Farah Kamran narrated that dengue mosquitoes breed in stored, exposed, water collection systems. The favoured breeding places are: barrels, drums, jars, pots, buckets, flower vases, plant saucers, tanks, discarded bottles/tins, tyres, or water coolers, and other places where rainwater collects or is stored. The mosquito eggs become adults in about 10 days. On the occasion, Dr Sajjad Nabi Sayyan, the Medical Superintendent of the Hospital, asked the people to drain out water from window air coolers when not in use, as well as draining all unused tanks, barrels, drums, and buckets. He said that the people should also remove all the objects containing water such as plant saucers from their houses. All stored water containers should be kept covered at all times. Collect and destroy discarded containers in which water collects, such as bottles, plastic bags, tins, tyres, etc. He added that efficient disposal of all solid waste/garbage could also help avert dengue virus menace. Keep body temperature below 39 C. Give the patient paracetamol (not more than four times in 24 hours). Fever can also be reduced by sponging patient with tepid water. Later, talking to the newsmen here, Dr. Farah Kamran disclosed that as many as 50 million people have become the victim of dengue fever in the world and according to the latest statistics illustrated by the UN, as many as 20,000 die of dengue virus every year in the world. She revealed that the fears of spreading dengue fever were rising in Asia especially in Pakistan day by day. She said that according to the World Health Organization (WHO) the main causes of spreading dengue fever (DF) were the increasing temperatures, heavy rains in some areas, floods and rapidly growing population. She said that dengue was a specified virus and dengue infection spreads almost in those areas having hot climate and especially in urban areas. This mosquito called as dengue mostly attacks during the timings of dawn and dusk. Dr Farah said that dengue fever affected patients should ensure the maximum use of boiled water, besides, using honey in normally hot water. She added that the common use of fruit like oranges, guava, apple and Kalwanji and black pepper could also help prevent the dengue fever, especially in growing children.