ISLAMABAD  -   National Institute of Health on Thursday issued advisories keeping in view the hyper active season of mosquitoes.

A statement issued by the NIH said that advisories had been issued because of mosquitoes and previous seasonal trends of vector-borne diseases.

Moreover, the NIH also issued another advisory regarding the Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, also called Naegleriasis.

The objective of these advisories is to sensitise human and animal healthcare authorities to further strengthen and improve the level of preparedness in prevention and control of these diseases.

According to the advisory, dengue is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes (Aedesaegypti and Aedesalbopictus), which are widely distributed in subtropical and tropical areas of the world including Pakistan. Dengue Fever is endemic in almost all geographical regions of Pakistan and there are substantial evidences that its multiple serotypes are circulating in different areas of the country.

Despite patchy surveillance, a total of 3,204 cases of dengue fever were reported in Pakistan during 2018. It is imperative to work on prevention while staying vigilant for detection of cases and ensuring preparedness to launch response activities for curtailing the transmission, the NIH said.

This advisory is therefore intended to facilitate the healthcare authorities and professional in effectively dealing the potential challenge during the next few months, it added.

Chikungunya is a viral disease caused by Chikungunya Virus and transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes to humans. Chikungunya occurs in tropical countries and has been reported from Africa, South Asia and South-East Asia, the advisory stated.

The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common. The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor, it said.

Following an outbreak of Chikungunya in Karachi in 2017 and subsequent detection of travel-associated cases in different parts of the country, the disease is now endemic in many parts of the country like dengue fever, it said. It is imperative to undertake preventive measures while staying vigilant to pick suspected cases, confirming the disease, and taking steps to interrupt further transmission, the NIH advised. The Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis also called Naegleriasis is a disease of the central nervous system caused by the free-living amoeba naegleria fowleri.

Although considered a rare globally, the disease is almost invariably fatal. Deaths related to PAM have been regularly reported from tertiary care hospitals of Karachi during summers since 2008.

Despite surveillance limitations, a total of 88 cases are on record in Pakistan in last 10 years with a case fatality rate of 100%. During this year, Karachi has reported 3 deaths due to Naegleriasis. To mitigate the risks associated with the hot season ahead, it is imperative to undertake immediate and long term preventive measures in mega cities particularly Karachi, the advisory concluded.