ISLAMABAD – The health authorities have been asked to take preventive measures to protect the citizens of the federal capital from dengue virus.
They urged the staff of departments concerned of the capital for proper solid waste disposal and improved water storage practices, including covering containers to prevent access by egg laying female mosquitoes.
They said mosquitoes breed primarily in man-made containers like earthenware jars, metal drums and concrete cisterns used for domestic water storage, as well as discarded plastic food containers, used automobile tyres and other items that collect rainwater.
Dr Sharif Astori from Federal Government Poly Clinic (FGPC) said that dengue is a mosquito-borne infection, which in recent years has become a major public health concern. He said dengue fever is a severe, flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults. He added the spread of dengue is attributed to expanding geographic distribution of the dengue viruses and of their mosquito vectors, the most important of which is the predominantly urban species Aedes Aegypti.
He said after virus incubation for eight to ten days, an infected mosquito is capable, during probing and blood feeding, of transmitting the virus to susceptible individuals for the rest of its life. He said the virus circulates in the blood of infected humans for two to seven days, at approximately the same time as they suffer from fever.
He added the clinical features of dengue fever vary according to the age of the patient. He said infants and young children may have a non-specific febrile illness with rash as older children and adults may have either a mild febrile syndrome or the classical incapacitating disease with abrupt onset and high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, and rash. He said that dengue haemorrhagic fever is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, haemorrhagic phenomena. He said the illness commonly begins with a sudden rise in temperature accompanied by facial flush and other non-specific constitutional symptoms of dengue fever. He said the fever usually continues for two to seven days, adding, in moderate dengue haemorrhagic fever cases, all signs and symptoms abate after the fever subsides.