SARGODHA   -   Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Sargodha, President Dr Sikandar Warraich on Sunday advised the citizens to take special preventive measures to protect themselves from den­gue virus.

Talking to the media in his office, he said, in the wake of surging dengue cases, citi­zens should properly dispose of solid waste and stop water storage practices at their resi­dences to prevent any access to egg-laying female mosquitoes. 

Dr Sikandar Warraich said that mosquitoes breed primar­ily in 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. He further said that dengue was a mosquito-borne infection, which in recent years had become a major public health concern. He said dengue fever was a severe, flu-like ill­ness that affects infants, young children, and adults alike. The rapid growth of urban popula­tion was bringing ever greater number of people into contact with this vector, especially in areas that were favorable for mosquito breeding like in ar­eas, where household water storage was common and solid waste disposal services were inadequate, he added.

Dr Sikandar revealed that dengue viruses were trans­mitted to humans through the bites of infective female Ae­des mosquitoes, adding that mosquitoes generally acquire the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person. He said after virus incubation for eight to ten days, an infected mosquito was capable, during probing and blood feeding, of transmitting the virus to sus­ceptible individuals for the rest of its life.

He said that 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 patient.

Dr Sikandar after continuing his talk said infants and young children may have a non-spe­cific febrile illness with a rash as older children and adults may have either a mild febrile syndrome or the classical in­capacitating disease with an abrupt onset and high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains and rash.