Experts notice lessening dengue severity, more cases - Pakistan Today

Experts notice lessening dengue severity, more cases

LAHORE: Medical experts have noticed a greater incidence of dengue virus across Lahore with a parallel decrease in the severity of the deadly disease, Pakistan Today has learnt.
Doctors serving in dengue wards of different public hospitals said that the dengue virus has changed its pattern as the number of dengue patients in critical condition has decreased in hospitals, while the overall incidence of the disease has increased.
“The number of dengue patients being admitted in hospitals has reduced owing to their better condition but patients keep coming nonetheless and many of them are tested positive after blood tests.
The dengue virus has become not only recurrent but comes with different strains and patterns,” an on-duty doctor serving in the dengue ward of the Services Hospital said.
She said that the disease would continue until December when the dengue mosquito would stop breeding naturally.
A house officer at the medical ward of the Sir Gangaram Hospital said that the number of dengue patients coming for treatment was still the same as before with a few of those admitted with hemorrhagic fever as well.
Sheikh Zayed Hospital Professor of Medicine Dr Zafar Iqbal said that dengue patients already cured were coming back to hospitals with rashes, low platelet count and even LFT, as there were four types of dengue virus and “if someone gets infected with one type, he is still vulnerable to the other three as well.”
He said that the dengue mosquito had a 14-day life cycle and bite of the female mosquito spread the deadly disease. “Presently, people already cured of the dengue virus are once again coming back,” Iqbal added.
Doctors also stressed upon the need for studying the genome of the dengue virus and its changing patterns to cope with the deadly epidemic next year. Commenting on the issue Iqbal said,
“We do not have the equipment to isolate dengue and study the virus. A viral study lab is essential, as the disease returns with greater severity every year.
We had never heard of the virus in Lahore and should conduct proper studies to analyse it’s pattern as it is being done internationally. Viruses are naturally mutant and can return with more severity next year. The vector of the dengue virus is declining, as the mosquito does not breed in the winters.”
King Edward Medical University Registrar Dr Mehmood Shaukat said that the dengue virus symbolised our own inefficiency in urban planning. The very little care we show about our lifestyle was evident from the fact that morning walk was recommended for good health, but those who go to parks for a walk catch the dengue virus, he said, adding that parks should have been made clean and “mosquito free”.
He said that many practitioners could not prescribe medicines for dengue, as they thought it was some other viral infection. “We are not studying anything. Those who received treatment for other viral diseases earlier are coming back again.
Moreover, a lot of data remains unregistered, as the official figures only mention those who visited health facilities,” Shaukat said. To a question, he said, “Its strain should be studied because people treated for dengue may return with a different type of virus, not just this year but in coming years as well.
Long-term planning and strategy is required to check the dengue virus.” Health Director Dr Anwar Janjua said that the government was very clear on coping with the dengue virus for the coming years.
He said that the government had already formed a core group consisting of various medical experts to devise a long-term strategy to tackle the dengue virus. “Studying the genome is definitely very important and the government would include it into its strategy when the core group forwards its recommendations,” Janjua added.

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