Dengue fever incidence taking shape of outbreak

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Rawalpindi—The incidence of dengue fever is continuously on the rise for the last five days in town taking shape of an outbreak as the three teaching hospitals in town have tested another 40 patients positive in last four days that took the total number of confirmed patients so far registered with the allied hospitals to 121. Data collected has revealed that in last 24 hours, as many as 17 patients have been confirmed positive for dengue fever at the allied hospitals including Holy Family Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital.
It is important that till September 3 this year, the total number of patients tested positive for dengue fever at the allied hospitals was 55 but the situation was not like that of an outbreak because the allied hospitals received these 55 patients in the previous two-and-a-half months. The patients tested positive at the allied hospitals before September 3 were termed as sporadic cases by almost all senior health experts in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
The trend, however, has changed in the last one week in the region and the incidence of the infection has started taking shape of an outbreak. In last one week, according to data received , well over 60 patients have been tested positive for dengue fever at the three teaching hospitals.
Till Sunday, the HFH has tested a total of 86 patients positive for dengue fever while BBH received 24 confirmed patients of the infection. The DHQ Hospital has received as many as 11 confirmed patients of dengue fever so far this year.
Data reveals that till Saturday evening, as many as 50 patients including 27 confirmed and 23 suspected ones were undergoing treatment at the allied hospitals. Of the confirmed patients, eight were undergoing treatment in high dependency unit at the HFH while 35 patients including suspects were undergoing treatment in isolation ward of the hospital.
However, at the BBH only five patients were undergoing treatment at the BBH and two at DHQ Hospital on Saturday evening while final results in 23 cases were to be received by the allied hospitals and it is believed that out of these 23 cases, 17 have been confirmed positive on Sunday taking total number of confirmed patients to 121.
To date, the allied hospitals received a total of 792 suspects of dengue fever of which 121 have been confirmed positive and it is important that the rest should not be taken as patients of dengue fever, said a top official at the HFH while talking to media pleading anonymity. When asked, he said a section of media reports all suspected and probable cases as patients of dengue fever that is not correct technically on medical grounds.
There may be thousands of suspects of the infection but the actual situation can be gauged only by number of confirmed patients and the spread can be termed as outbreak on the basis of demographic data of the confirmed patients, said another top official at the allied hospitals.—Agencies