The anti-dengue day observed on Sunday gave the right message that preventive measures are the first and last defence against the virus. Leaflets were handed over to the commuters while government offices and other public places were mopped clean and fumigated.

The heavy monsoon resulting in widely scattered pools of water, overflowing sewers and virtual lakes here and there make it easy for dengue to thrive although the cases reported this year are very limited. Given that the virus has no cure and the medicine can only lessen the intensity of the fever, what is really necessary is that we understand that the real cure lies in prevention and prevention only which calls for arranging the precautionary measures. It is comforting to note that a spray offensive is about to be launched in rural areas and suburbs of Islamabad where there is a danger that the virus might grow.

This fight is of the nature that involves both the state and the civil society; the government has to see to it that the spraying campaign is carried out with all the vim and vigour, and have emergency arrangement ready in the hospitals, the people can make their homes and streets free of the threat by cleaning up all the places where water can accumulate, which attracts the mosquito. Reports are coming in that some spots around shops and markets in Lahore have been detected by the Environment Protection agency where the dengue larva has been found. But action against those responsible needs to be initiated which would help a lot especially since, this will inculcate a sense of civic duty among the general public that is found lacking.

We must let not our guard down given that the virus can stage a comeback in case we start to take it for granted. Government agencies and the public must stay alert, keep water from accumulating in homes and streets. The city government is meanwhile expected to carry out fumigation campaign of suspected spots.