Health experts advised citizens of the twin cities to take special preventive measures to protect themselves from the dengue virus.

In the wake of an increasing number of cases, citizens should properly dispose of solid waste and stop potentially dangerous water storage practices at their residences to prevent any access to egg-laying female mosquitoes, the experts added. They said mosquitoes breed primarily in containers like earthenware jars, metal drums, and concrete cisterns used for domestic water storage, as well as discarded plastic food containers, used automobile tyres, and other items that collect rainwater.

Medical expert Dr. Wasim Khawaja explained that dengue is a mosquito-borne infection, which in recent years has become a major public health concern. He said dengue fever is a severe, flu-like illness that affects infants, young children, and adults. Khawaja added the spread of dengue is attributed to expanding geographic distribution of the four dengue viruses and of their mosquito vectors, the most important of which is the predominantly urban species aedes aegypti.

He said, “The rapid growth of the urban population is bringing ever greater numbers of people into contact with this vector, especially in areas that are favourable for mosquito breeding like in areas where household water storage is common and solid waste disposal services are inadequate.”

Dr. Wasim revealed that dengue virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infective female aedes mosquitoes, adding that mosquitoes generally acquire the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person. He said that after virus incubation for eight to ten days, an infected mosquito is capable, during probing and blood feeding, of transmitting the virus to susceptible individuals for the rest of its life.

He said the virus circulates in the blood of infected humans for two to seven days, at approximately the same time as they suffer from fever. He added the clinical features of dengue fever vary according to the age of the patient.

Another expert Dr. Sharif Astori said infants and young children may have a non-specific febrile illness with a rash and older children and adults may have either a mild febrile syndrome or the classical incapacitating disease with an abrupt onset and high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains and rash. He said dengue haemorrhagic fever is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, and haemorrhagic phenomena.

Source: This news is originally published by tribune

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