Rawalpindi: Nearly 3,900 patients have been tested positive for dengue fever at the three teaching hospitals in town so far that has set a new record as in one year alone, more cases have been tested positive as compared to number of patients confirmed positive in previous nine years, from 2006 to 2014.
The allied hospitals in town are still receiving 15 to 20 confirmed cases of dengue fever daily on average despite a significant fall in temperature and the infection has already claimed 13 lives at the three hospitals.
Data collected by ‘The News’ reveals that from 2006 to 2008, the total number of confirmed patients of dengue fever reported at the allied hospitals in town was around 170, while in 2009, less than 30 cases of the infection were reported from the district. It is worth mentioning here that the first outbreak of dengue fever, though limited in nature, was reported in 2006 in the district.
In 2010, the number of confirmed patients of dengue fever registered with the allied hospitals touched the figure of 400 for the first time, while in 2011 slightly over 800 patients were reported at the three teaching hospitals including Holy Family Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital.
In 2012, not even sporadic cases of dengue fever were reported from the district that enjoyed dengue-free status mainly because of efforts made well in time by the concerned government authorities.
However, in 2013 the dengue fever was back with a vengeance and well over 1,100 confirmed cases were registered with the three teaching hospitals in town. In 2014, as many as 1,406 patients were tested positive for dengue fever at the allied hospitals in town and the number this year has already touched the figure of 3,900.
According to a number of health experts, the trend shows that the dengue fever outbreak has been getting more and more intense with the passage of every year and if proper preventive measures are not taken well in time, the population in this region of the country would have to face a more intense and deadly outbreak of the infection in the year to come, in 2016.
It is worth mentioning here that the allied hospitals have screened nearly 43,000 patients at their dengue outpatient departments in last three months while over 5,900 patients were admitted to the hospitals for treatment putting a tremendous burden on the healthcare system in the district.