Pakistan: Widespread outbreak of dengue, other epidemics affect country amid ravaging floods

Pakistan is continuing to report more and more dengue virus cases daily, with panic and fear spreading among the public as a shortage of fever medicines has also surfaced

Asian News International September 11, 2022 23:17:05 IST
Pakistan: Widespread outbreak of dengue, other epidemics affect country amid ravaging floods

Representative image. ANI

Islamabad: Amid ravaging floods, Pakistan is hit with a dengue outbreak that has gone out of control across the country.

Pakistan is continuing to report more and more dengue virus cases daily, with panic and fear spreading among the public as a shortage of fever medicines has also surfaced, Geo News reported.

Dengue has started to take a dangerous turn

In Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, dengue has started to take a dangerous turn. Punjab reported 125 new cases of mosquito-borne disease. Moreover, dengue claimed four lives in the province, data from the health department showed.

Karachi reported another death from dengue virus in the last 24 hours, with over 2,000 people affected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after excessive rains left breeding sites for mosquitoes, the report stated.

The wards reserved for dengue patients in Karachi’s hospitals have been full. Meanwhile, a shortage of medicine for fever remains persists in most areas of the country, with pharmacies in Punjab awaiting a resumption in the supply of the drug in Punjab for the last four weeks, reported Geo News.

In Peshawar, the price of a leaf of fever pills has increased from Rs 17 to Rs 30.

WHO has warned of significant public health threats

As districts in Pakistan continue to be affected by massive monsoon rainfall and unprecedented levels of flooding, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of significant public health threats facing affected populations, including the risk of further water spread and vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.

Around 888 health facilities have been damaged in the country, of which 180 are completely damaged, leaving millions of people lacking access to health care and medical treatment, as reported in many affected districts.

Pakistan receives heavy – often destructive – rains during its annual monsoon season, which is crucial for agriculture and water supplies. But the heavy downpour this year has created havoc in the country, while rapidly melting glaciers in the north have for months heaped pressure on waterways.

Record monsoon and heavy floods in Pakistan have given rise to hunger and various illnesses which have affected 33 million people and the experts believe that the situation would aggravate in the coming days as the flood victims are forced to live under the sky depriving the required resources.

Huge areas of the country are still underwater and hundreds of thousands of people have been forced from their homes.

Pakistan is facing one of the worst flooding events in its history

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Pakistan is facing one of the worst flooding events in its history. The human and socio-economic toll is expected to increase as flood levels continue to rise, with immense pressure on the country’s dams.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department said it was the wettest August since records began in 1961. National rainfall was 243 per cent above average. According to the monthly report, the province of Balochistan was +590 per cent and in Sindh +726 per cent.

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