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EditorialChallenge of dengue fever

Challenge of dengue fever

The dark shadow of dengue fever is hovering across the country as the disease has started making its presence felt. It has been reported that in a single day 385 new patients were registered in Punjab. Unprecedented rains and floods are blamed for the surge in number of patients. High population growth rate, urbanisation, global warming and new environmental constraints are also evolving the issue of disease outbreaks and dengue fever is one of them.

Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea and fatigue. Despite negation by the concerned authorities, cases are continuously surfacing about patients suffering from the disease. The statistics show that the problem is there and posing a serious threat to the people’s health. The seriousness of the disease has also been acknowledged by doctors at various health facilities in Punjab and Sindh. The grim situation is worsening due to lack of healthcare facilities and delayed diagnosis. While the government officials and the health department are claiming that adequate arrangements have been put in place to tackle the menace, the reality looks bleak, with the number of dengue cases increasing. There are clear indications that delayed diagnosis resulted in more complications. In order to contain the disease, the government needs to take preventive measures.

As most cases are being reported from Punjab and Sindh, the provincial governments need to take all necessary measures to protect victims from this disease. There is a need to put all health facilities on alert to tackle the situation. The concerned authorities need to arrange vaccines and other necessary medicines and diagnosis facilities at public health facilities for early detection and treatment of the disease. The elimination of the dengue virus demands both long term and short term plans. Currently there is no licenced vaccine and antiviral drug to beat the perils in the affected regions. Various research institutes and pharmaceutical companies should be sponsored and patronised for swift invention of an effective vaccine and antiviral drug. There is a need to take all necessary measures to save the people from the disease. The focus should be on launching a countrywide awareness campaign to educate the masses about the symptoms of the disease and inform them about curative measures. There is also a need to improve the level of coordination among the concerned authorities. Quick measures are needed at the provincial and federal levels to prevent epidemic from spreading to other parts of the country. Joint efforts should be made to save people from the disease. Timely detection of the virus and isolation of the affected individuals are very much necessary.

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