Mysterious disease affects 30,000 people in Karachi

Staff Report


Sindh Health Minister Dr. Sikandar Mandhro on Monday declared emergency in Malir after outbreak of mysterious disease that caught more than 30,000 people in one month.
Health minister visited Saudabad hospital and said that identification of virus would take time however, blood samples have been dispatched to laboratory in Islamabad.
“Officially, the disease hasn’t been diagnosed as yet but the experts believe it could be Chikungunya virus, considering the symptoms”, he added.
He said that health officers have also collected the samples of water in the residential colony near Sindh Government Hospital.
The minister has also directed the health authorities to appoint four to five doctors in Malir’s government hospitals.
Meanwhile, medical experts say that this disease causes high fever in the beginning and severe pain in the joints, disabling them for three days.
Doctors say that the disease spreads with mosquito bite so all measures should be taken to keep safe from mosquitoes. On the other hand, patients complained for inadequate facilities in the hospital. However, there were unconfirmed reports of the presence of Chikungunya virus in Karachi, Sindh, especially in the areas of Malir.
The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Department of Health of the Sindh Province jointly with the World Health Organization in Pakistan are working closely in the wake of these unconfirmed reports and carrying out epidemiological investigations. While investigation continued, no case of Chikungunya Virus has yet been confirmed till date and any information circulated with regard to confirmation of any case is incorrect and misleading. It is of paramount importance that the public and the health care providers be adequately informed about the risk associated with all illnesses of epidemic potential.
In the case of Chikungunya, there are some important facts to be noted by people: (1) Although there are serological evidence of a historical presence of the virus in Pakistan, there is at this time no evidence of any nested transmission of Chikungunya in the country2) Imported cases can always appear as for any disease, but such importation, once early detected, would not cause any significant damage to public health3). The Chikungunya virus pertains to the same family of viruses (these-called “arboviruses”) family, as dengue, but it poses less danger to human health.

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