Karachi - As many as 19 more dengue fever cases were detected throughout the Karachi in a week, taking the reported cases toll to 538 in the city since January 1, 2018.

According to the weekly report issued by Prevention and Control Program for Dengue in Sindh, at least 19 new dengue fever cases were reported across Karachi in a week. No new case was surfaced from other districts last week. In July, a total 19 dengue positive cases were detected throughout the city so far.

This year, a total 572 dengue cases were surfaced across Sindh province out of them 538 in Karachi and 34 from rest of province.

A death was also reported due to dengue in Karachi this year so far.

Doctors at these hospitals said the patients had come from various districts. Those from Karachi had come from neighbourhoods along North Nazimbad, Mehmoodabad, Gulshan Iqbal, Orangi town etc.  Dr Farhan Gohar, a doctor of medicine at Abbasi Shaheed hospital said there is no specific treatment for dengue fever. “Adequate fluid intake and complete bed rest are important for quick recovery.”

He said symptoms of the disease include fever, severe headaches, body aches, joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea and skin rash. He suggests that people with these symptoms should immediately see a physician and get their blood samples examined from a certified laboratory. He said public campaigns to raise awareness about the disease and to eliminate mosquito breeding sites were important but people also needed to act in their individual capacity by ensuring good hygiene at their homes.

He said dengue fever is now classified into two types: fever with warning signs and fever without warning signs. Abdominal pain, persistent vomiting and fluid accumulation are some of the warning signs associated with the disease, he added. Experts believe that the government needs to do more to eliminate the virus altogether. Dr AslamKhan, a professor at the human genetics department at the University of Health and Sciences (UHS), stresses the need to set up laboratories equipped with facilities to conduct extensive research on dengue mosquitos’ breeding habits.

He said public spending on research on communicable diseases was not commensurate with their impact on public health. “The government has set up state-of-the-art laboratories for research on heart diseases. Unfortunately it has not paid a lot attention to research on dengue mosquitoes,” he said.

Khan urged the public to take precaution at around dawn and evening-fall, and during humid conditions. These times of the day, and weather conditions are when dengue mosquitoes are most likely to bite people.