Karachi catches dengue fever: 12 dead, over 1,000 affected

According to latest figures at different hospitals released by the provincial government's dengue surveillance cell, 12 persons died after testing positive for the disease which had assumed alarming proportions in 2006 and 2007.

"Since January this year, a total of 2,394 persons suspected of suffering from dengue fever were admitted to 46 hospitals in different areas of the city, out of which 1,265 have tested positive for dengue fever," an official of the surveillance cell of the Sindh health department said.

Dengue fever has also spread to other cities of Pakistan, with 18 cases reported on Sunday from Rawalpindi. Dr Shakeel Mullick, the chief person of the cell, said according to latest figures deaths from dengue included seven men and five women between the ages of 19 and 71 years.

"We have six deaths reported from Aga Khan hospital. Since September the Liaquat National hospital has reported 3 deaths while the Abbasi Shaheed, Mamji hospital and Patel Hospital have reported one death each," he said.

Mullick admitted that the number of dengue suspected and dengue positive cases had doubled in the city compared to last year.

Health experts believe that the dengue problem has crept up again because the city administration and provincial health department did not carry out fumigation and spraying works in localities which were considered high-risk. They say proper awareness campaigns were also not undertaken.

In 2006, a dengue outbreak in the city affected about 4,750 people and claimed 50 lives, while in 2007 some 22 people died due to the disease which affected about 2,600 people.

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