ISLAMABAD: The representative body of health professionals has advised doctors not to suggest costly tests as dengue virus can be confirmed with tests that are four times cheaper.

On the other hand, there was no let-up in the number of dengue cases as during the last 24 hours, Islamabad reported 55 new patients and Rawalpindi 73.

Talking to Dawn, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Secretary General Dr Qaisar Sajjad said dengue virus could be detected by spending just Rs300 to Rs700 whereas doctors were suggesting tests that cost Rs2,100 to Rs2,500.

“I have been working on dengue since 2005 when over 50 people died across the country. A dengue patient can be confirmed by conducting a platelets test which costs Rs300. In case of further confirmation, complete blood count (CBC) can be carried out,” he said.

“However, I have observed that majority of doctors suggest dengue tests for which Rs2,100 to Rs2,500 are charged by labs,” he said.

128 more dengue cases reported in Islamabad, Rawalpindi

Out of the total 55 dengue patients in Islamabad, 36 came from the rural areas and 19 from the urban localities of the city. In Rawalpindi district, the tally of the season rose to 871 after emergence of 73 new patients.

Meanwhile, the PMA, in a statement, expressed its concern over the rising number of dengue patients across the country.

According to the Sindh Health Department, 2,825 cases were reported throughout the province this year out of which 2,462 were in Karachi only.

The PMA suggested that the government should immediately start an anti-mosquito spray campaign in flood-affected areas to eliminate mosquitoes because there is no vaccine or specific treatment for dengue.

“Elimination of the mosquito will also end other mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, chikungunya and Zika virus. The PMA once again reminds the slogan of ‘prevention is better than cure’ and advises all government departments to work jointly against dengue fever for positive result,” the statement said, adding that “anti-mosquito spray with regular interval particularly on stagnant water with actual concentration should be used”. It said spray should also be done inside and outside hospitals, schools, offices, plant nurseries and gardens and tyre repair shops.

Provide whole blood, platelets and plasma free of cost to the ailing people through registered healthy donors. Private hospitals should reduce the significant price on platelets and laboratory charges. Manufacturers of anti-mosquito products should reduce prices to help people,” it further suggested.

The general public has been advised to cover water tanks and clean any stagnant water in or around their houses and apartments etc.

In case of high grade fever, never take antibiotics, anti-malarial or aspirin and do not go for self-medication or unscientific treatment. Always take advice from a qualified doctor. Plenty of waters, homemade fresh food, good sleep will increase body immunity, the PMA added.

Rawalpindi

As many as 73 dengue patients were reported in the garrison city on Sunday, taking the tally of the season to 871. A total of 99 patients landed in three government hospitals and 73 of them were form Rawalpindi and the remaining from other districts.

At present, 169 confirmed dengue patients are admitted in the three government hospitals – 54 in Holy Family Hospital (HFH), 58 in Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and 57 in the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital.

Officials said 127 of the admitted patients were from the Rawalpindi district, 36 from Islamabad, two from Attock, one each from Poonch, Abbottabad and Peshawar.

District Health Authority Chief Executive Officer Dr Anser Ishaq told Dawn that the health authority had devised a comprehensive plan for 10 days to clear the affected areas. He said that to eliminate the dengue mosquitoes and larvae, 50 additional teams had been deployed.

He said most of the patients were from Kalyal, Girja, Takht Pari, Shakrial north and adjoining areas, adding that the anti-dengue campaign had been expedited in all union councils while teams were conducting fogging in low-lying areas along Leh Nullah and Soan River.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2022

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