Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dengue nightmare in Pakistan

Nimrah Amjad in the Pakistan Observer: Dengue is the most common disease among all the arthropod-borne viral diseases. Due to occurrence of remarkable changes in the epidemiology of dengue, currently dengue ranks as the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in the world.

Dengue fever epidemics have become a cyclical nightmare in Pakistan over the last several years. As of November 2011, it has killed over 300 people and over 14,000 are infected by this mosquito born disease. Majority of the people infected are from the Lahore area in Punjab.

Dengue viruses occur in mostly in tropical areas. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a more severe form of the viral illness. Heavy monsoon rains has provided ideal conditions for dengue-carrying mosquitoes to thrive in stagnant waters. The upcoming prolonged monsoon rains could cause a rise in dengue mosquitoes. Unfortunately, many of the factors contributing to dengue outbreaks, from poor hygiene and sanitation to climate change, are risk factors common to most infectious diseases.

There is a need for larger clinical studies in Pakistan to better understand the range of infections, endemic patterns and genetic susceptibility of different populations to the dengue virus...

A TEM micrograph showing Dengue virus virions (the cluster of dark dots near the center), public domain image

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