At least total of 200 patients suspected of the disease have been admitted so far. “Two out of the five deceased people tested positive for dengue through a local testing kit,” Dengue Control Programme head Dr Shahid told The Express Tribune. “However, test reports from the National Institute of Health in Islamabad have yet to arrive and confirm the cause of death.” One of the patients succumbed to the virus on August 30, while the other one died on September 3. The five victims belong to Mansehra, Havelian and Haripur.
Over the last one-and-a-half months, over 200 patients with symptoms of dengue such as high fever, low platelet count and nausea were
reported in Kohistan, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Haripur, Rawalpindi and other cities.
Dr Shahid said Ayub Teaching Hospital is the only tertiary care facility in Hazara where 90 dengue suspects have been treated thus far.
He added the second phase of fumigation is under way in Abbottabad and 50 bed nets have been distributed among locals of areas where the virus is found.
When contacted, dengue programme coordinator in Mansehra Dr Yasir said at least 80 patients suspected with the virus are admitted to various health facilities. Of the total, only 10 are still undergoing treatment at the dengue ward of King Abdullah Teaching Hospital. However, Dr Yasir denied the report of deaths caused by the virus in the district. “Blood samples of all the suspected patients have been dispatched to NIH and the result is awaited.”
However, he has advised the residents of Mansehra to immediately seek medical attention if they want timely pathological analysis for the fever.
Haripur District Health Officer Dr Mushtaq denied the report of deaths and said the district has not received a single patient suspected of dengue for over a month.
On the other hand, Dr Ejaz Masood in Haripur said four to five cases of high-grade fever are reported daily in different villages of Haripur, but the kits used to test them show negative results. “It could be some sort of a viral fever, but the symptoms the patients have are similar to those of dengue fever.”
Lack of care
“The outbreak of dengue fever indicates that health authorities in Hazara have failed to fumigate the areas despite the fact that Mansehra and Haripur were pointed out as dengue-hit districts,” said a local councillor, Rashid. “The provincial government has allocated millions to fight dengue but the health authorities, especially those in Haripur and Mansehra, failed to do their jobs properly.
Published in The Express Tribune