Pakistan sees surge in dengue cases

ISLAMABAD: As devastating floods rip through Pakistan impacting more than 33 million people, Pakistan continues to face a surge in dengue fever cases in different parts of the country, amid the latest outbreak mainly attributed to the calamity.

Also known as “breakbone fever” because of the severe pain it can cause, dengue is the fastest spreading tropical disease in the world. The viral infection is transmitted to humans through the bites of female Aedes mosquitoes, which thrive in tropical and subtropical urban areas.

A total of 158 new cases of dengue fever have been reported across Punjab, said the provincial health department.

Lahore reported 79 patients, followed by Rawalpindi where 29 people were diagnosed with dengue fever. The total tally of cases in the province this year has reached 2,923, the department said.

Additionally, the provincial health department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported 1,952 dengue cases throughout the province in September and 3,693 cases this year.

Karachi in Sindh reported 192 new cases, the local health department reported.

The government authorities have launched an anti-dengue campaign in response to the alarmingly high levels of cases in the country and have taken special measures at the dengue hotspots in order to curb the spread of the disease.

Public health experts are warning of the rising risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue, spreading across the country.

Pakistan has already been grappling with increasing dengue cases and the unusually early and heavy monsoon rains this year have provided favourable conditions for mosquitoes to breed in.

In much of the world, extreme weather including droughts, heatwaves, floods, and heavy rainfall are increasing in severity and regularity. And an alarming new study concludes that, among the many infectious diseases likely to worsen with climate change, mosquito-borne diseases like dengue will be most affected.

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