FAISALABAD - A seminar titled 'Dengue Fever was organised at Madina Teaching Hospital where medical experts discussed its various aspects and preventive measures including importance of early diagnosis, treatment, platelets and its complications. Haque, University Medical & Dental College Principal Prof Dr Irshad, Prof Ehsanul Haq, Prof A G Rehan, Prof Maj Abdul Rasheed, Prof Dr Sadia Hameed, Dr Zahid Masood, Dr Mubashar Ahmad, and Dr Ali Majeed shared updates on the issue. It was a collaborative programme organised by the Departments of Medicine, Community Medicine, Pathology and Surgery. Addressing the seminar, Prof Irshad highlighted the importance of early diagnosis and prompt treatment while Dr Ali spoke about the possible complications and management. Dr Mubashar gave a detailed algorithm of how and when platelets are to be given. Dr Zahid in his speech said, Dengue fever is caused by four virus strains spread by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. It is found throughout the year in many tropical countries where temperature remains between 24 to 34 Celsius. It is found in 110 countries. However due to Disease Early Warning System (DEWS), many countries took pragmatic actions in terms of spray, fumigation and health education and personal protection. Therefore, the outcome was good. In many parts of Pakistan, he said, the disease has a definite time period and it comes in the form of outbreak with onset of monsoon rains and disappears with onset of winter. It causes high fever and has been called break bone fever. He added that dengue viruses are of four serotypes DV- 1 DV- 2 DV -3 DV - 4. In Pakistan DV- 3, DV -2 and DV- 1 are known to be the main culprits and can also cause a potentially fatal disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever, in people who have previously been infected with a different strain of the virus and the mortality rate of dengue fever is less than 1 percent, he observed. So, there is a need to reassure the population and impart health education to adopt personal protection measures as no govt alone can do concrete efforts unless community participation is ensured, he said. He maintained that dengue viruses are found throughout the tropics and subtropics and appear annually in northern Australia. Wolbachia, a bacterial parasite, is transmitted by female mosquitoes to their offspring. A pair of infected mosquitoes produces slightly fewer eggs than an uninfected couple, but when an infected male mosquito mates with an uninfected female, she produces no eggs at all. That provides a big reproductive advantage to the spread of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes, generation by generation, it was said. It turns out that Wolbachia also suppresses various other microbes living in the same mosquito-including the dengue virus. As these virus-resistant mosquitoes spread through the wild population, dengue transmission should dry up. The experts were of the view that more deaths occur because of other diseases that dengue fever in Pakistan. So, one should not be scared of dengue. If 99.5 percent patients recover they should also be put on record against 0.5 percent mortality to remove apprehensions of population. All we need is a strong political will to get rid of this disease and to urge scientists in genetic engineering and entomologists to sit and share outcome of this research in our indigenous set up, they said. However, researchers have released mosquitoes infected with the bacterial parasite Wolbachia, which suppresses the virus, and now report that the Wolbachia parasite spreads rapidly through the wild mosquito population. The Gates Foundation is providing further funding to support release of infected mosquitoes in Australia, Vietnam and Thailand. The research was supported by the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; The National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia; the Queensland Government; the U.S. National Institutes of Health; the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia; the U.S. National Science Foundation and fellowships from the Australian Research Council.