rawalpindi - Executive District Health Officer, Dr Nasir Mehmood said yesterday that 12 patients had been diagnosed with dengue fever in the district. “So far 12 dengue fever patients have been admitted in Holy Family Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital and District Headquarter Hospital of Rawalpindi,” he said. The EDO talking to APP informed dengue fever was a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes.

It is an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows other symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen glands and rash. Other signs of the disease included bleeding gums, severe pain behind the eyes, and red palms and soles, he added.

The virus is contracted from the bite of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person. The mosquito flourishes during rainy seasons but can breed in water-filled flower pots, plastic bags, and cans round the year. One mosquito bite could inflict the disease, he told. All-out efforts were being made to control dengue cases in the district, he said.

District Coordination Officer Sajid Zafar Dall a day earlier feared that recent rains have increased the chances of dengue spread. He ordered all the departments including health department to remain vigilant to stop dengue outbreak in the district. He said all the departments should accelerate their efforts to stop spread of dengue in the district. He said that the arrangements should also be made to wipe out rainwater so that the larvae could not grow in inundated water. He directed the sanitary workers to perform their duties with commitment and not to turn off their cell phones during duty hours. He said that strict action would be taken against those sanitary workers and officials who are found involved in any negligence while performing duty. He also requested the citizens to cooperate with the district government to make anti-dengue campaign successful.

Meanwhile, Dr Nasir Mehmood said the crackdown against food outlets not meeting cleanliness standard would continue. He said that strict action would be taken against the violators adding that their business would be closed if they not meet the required standard. He said there was no place for those indulging in sale of substandard food items and minting money, adding no one would be allowed to play with the people’s health. He informed a number of famous food outlets and hotels were closed due to unhygienic conditions and the operation would continue without any discrimination.