Full prevention needed as dengue-mosquitoes still active in Karachi

KARACHI: Thorough precautionary measures should be adopted by Karachiites, as the dengue-spreading mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, are still active in the city and they would continue to breed till the weather turn very cold and low temperature kills them, say a healthcare expert.

On previous day, yet another dengue patient died in the city, raising the death toll during the current year to three. The latest victim was identified as 11-years-old Samander Khan. Earlier, 20-year old Farzana and 78-year old Najam-un-Nisa had died due to dengue fever in the city. Provincial Dengue Surveillance Cell says this year so far at least 678 dengue viral fever patients have been confirmed in the city and at least three dengue deaths recorded. Last year 1200 dengue cases were confirmed and 10 deaths reported.

Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) office-bearer Dr Qaiser Sajjad said though there is common perception that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes die in the month of December, but in the coastal metropolis, Karachi, weather is pleasant and cold winds are still awaited. He said in next two to three weeks when cold spell begin in Karachi, it is expected that the breeding process of Aedes aegypti would be disrupted. Till then the citizens must take strict precautionary measures to save them from these mosquitoes. He said there are two methods of preventions against mosquitoes: to prevent oneself from their bite, and to kill them and wipe out their breeding grounds.

He said mothers should ensure that their children wear full-sleeve clothes. Anti-mosquito chemicals should be sprayed inside houses and mosquito repellents used to avoid mosquito bite. He said it should be strictly ensured that stagnant water in not present in house and vicinity. He said if puddles of stagnant water are present in locality kerosene oil should be poured over them.

He said the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) should focus the areas from where dengue fever cases are being reported and ensure proper and extensive fumigation in these localities. He said cleanliness and better sanitary conditions help in eliminating the breeding grounds of mosquitoes and municipal authorities have to play a pivotal role in this regard.

With more than one-third of the world’s population living in areas at risk for transmission, dengue infection is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. As many as 100 million people are infected yearly. Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus (DENV) and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of developing severe disease.

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