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NIH issues advisory to battle dengue fever

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Keeping in view the seasonal trends of Dengue fever, the Field Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Division (FEDSD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Islamabad issued an advisory regarding prevention & control of dengue fever.

The objective of the advisory is to sensitize human and animal health care authorities to further strengthen and improve the level of preparedness in the prevention and control of the disease.

According to the advisory, Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes (Aedes aegypti & Aedes albopictus). It is endemic in almost all geographical regions of Pakistan and there are substantial evidences that its multiple serotypes are circulating in the different areas of the Country.

Despite patchy surveillance, a total of 53,498 cases with 95 deaths due to dengue fever were reported during 2019 while 6,016 cases were reported during 2020, and 3,795 cases were reported up to September 2021.

It is imperative to work on prevention while staying vigilant for the detection of cases and ensuring preparedness to launch response activities for curtailing the transmission of dengue fever disease. This advisory is, therefore, intended to facilitate the healthcare authorities and professionals in effectively dealing the potential challenge during the Dengue season. The advisory also calls upon hospitals to build their capacity for management of patients, to keep rapid response arrangements in place, and to maintain regular liaison with relevant departments/stakeholders.

As said by the advisory, the following precautions should be taken to prevent dengue fever:

  • Adopt personal protection measures like wearing long-sleeved clothes, use of mosquito repellent lotions/sprays, use of mosquito repellent coils.
  • Use bed nets while sleeping outside in an open environment.
  • Use mesh screens on windows.

The advisory is available at NIH website: www.nih.org.pk

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