ISLAMABAD: The outbreak of dengue fever has set a new record: the number of cases reported rose to 49,587 this year, a jump of more than 5,000 cases in less than two weeks.
It's nearly double the maximum number of Dengue-infected Pakistanis in a year in the last decade, with the highest number of cases reported eight years ago. In 2011, 27,000 people were infected with dengue.
However, the previous death toll was 370, more than four times the 79 deaths that year. Sajid Shah, spokesman for the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), explained the main reasons for the increase in reported cases this year: "This year, an unprecedented number of dengue cases were reported worldwide. In addition, the case-tracking mechanism has improved throughout the country. "
Pakistan's statistics are much better than in other countries, says the NHS spokesman
. According to a document that was available with Dawn in the current issue year, 49,587 cases of dengue were confirmed from across the country. 1
No death was reported by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan, while up to 22 dengue patients died in the federal capital. Of the remaining 57 cases, 33 died in Sindh province, 20 in Punjab, three in Balochistan and one in AJK.
Mr. Shah said the World Health Organization has included dengue fever in the top 10 global health threats to the world. This year, the Philippines had reported 371,717 dengue cases and 1,407 deaths by 5 November. In Sri Lanka, 234,078 cases and more than 100 deaths had been reported by 23 October. Similarly, 146,000 cases and 89 deaths in Thailand, 124,751 cases and 15 deaths in Vietnam, 104,950 cases and 204 deaths in Malaysia, 122,136 cases and 104 deaths were reported in Bangladesh until the second week of October, he said.
Mr. Shah shared the Pan American Health Organization data, saying that 2.07 million cases and 702 deaths had been confirmed in Brazil, 213,822 cases and 108 deaths in Mexico, 157,573 cases and 26 deaths in Nicaragua, 106,066 cases and 74 deaths in Colombia and By 14 November, 96,379 cases and 156 deaths had been reported in Honduras.
"For the first time in Pakistan's history, the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) was activated at the National Institute of Health for Dengue Outbreak. Our statistics are much better than in other countries, but our task is not done yet. Based on recent experience, we will work with the provinces to develop a comprehensive multisectoral national action plan and defeat dengue fever over the next few years, "said Shah.
Dengue fever is transmitted by the mosquito bite, and in patients, platelet deficiency occurs, requiring platelet transfusion because the patient's blood does not have normal coagulability. If timely treatment is not provided, the disease can lead to life-threatening haemorrhagic dengue fever. Fever can lead to bleeding, low blood platelet levels and blood plasma leakage or dengue shock syndrome – a dangerously low blood pressure.
Pakistan has seen many dengue outbreaks since the first outbreak in 1994. In the last two decades, two major outbreaks have been reported in the country. In 2005, more than 6,000 cases were reported with 52 deaths from Karachi, while in 2011 more than 21,000 cases from Lahore were reported with only 350 deaths. Between 2011 and 2014, more than 48,000 confirmed cases of dengue were reported from across the country.
Posted in Dawn, November 18, 2019