Authorities on high alert following dengue fever outbreak

Authorities on high alert following dengue fever outbreak

Dengue fever has surged to a critical level in the Rawalpindi and Cantonment areas, with over 485 confirmed cases, placing significant pressure on local healthcare facilities. Despite the deployment of an expert team from Lahore, efforts to control this mosquito-borne disease have fallen short, allowing it to spread unchecked.

In response to this worsening situation, local authorities have issued an alert focused on protecting children from dengue fever. This directive mandates that students in educational institutions wear full-sleeved shirts. In the past 24 hours alone, an alarming 47 new cases have been confirmed, with an additional 23 awaiting verification.

All of these recent patients have exhibited high fever symptoms, with eleven now in critical condition and receiving treatment in the High Dependency Unit. Dr. Sajjad Mehmood, the District Coordinator for Epidemics Prevention and Control (DCEPC), provided details on these new cases, revealing that 17 patients originated from the Potohar town urban area, nine from the Municipal Corporation, four from Chaklala cantonment, and three from the Taxila cantonment area

. Dr. Mehmood stressed the critical nature of September as a prime period for dengue transmission and urged residents to take stringent precautionary measures against mosquito bites. Initially, the health department's strategy was to confine dengue mosquitoes to hotspot areas to protect citizens, but the situation has rapidly deteriorated. Experts have expressed deep concern about the rising number of patients and the limited resources available to the district administration.

They have warned that Allied hospitals are under immense pressure due to the increasing cases. In response, local authorities are planning to intensify efforts to combat dengue mosquito breeding and movement. These measures include extensive fogging operations and awareness campaigns, particularly targeting schoolchildren, who are now advised to wear full-sleeves instead of half-sleeves. Health department teams will actively visit schools to educate both teachers and students on dengue prevention.

The district administration emphasizes close coordination between the health department and allied hospitals, with 419 patients already showing signs of recovery due to improved strategies. Additionally, the District Health Authority (DHA) has taken legal action by filing 59 FIRs and sealing 10 premises for violations of anti-dengue Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) within the last 24 hours. The identification of 25 high-risk zones for dengue in the city heightens concerns about the ongoing outbreak.