Dengue continues to strike; death toll reaches 274
LAHORE: Eight more people lost their lives due to dengue fever in the city on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 274.
The victims included 45-year-old Muhammad Yousaf from Gujranwala who died in the Services Hospital, 70-year-old Ijaz Ahmad from Johar Town, 65-year-old Abdul Sattar, 55-year-old Shahbir Hussain from Mandi Bahauddin, 50-year-old Manawer Bibi from Badami Bagh who died in Gangaram Hospital, 35-year-old Shaheen Fraz, from Kot Radha Kishan who died in Jinnah Hospital, 60-year-old Raj Bibi from Kot Lakhpat, and 50-year-old Guddi Bibi from GOR-2 who died in the Services Hospital on Tuesday.
According to reports, around 334 confirmed dengue cases were reported in Lahore on Tuesday; 52 in Mayo Hospital, 32 in IPH, 27 in Sheikh Zayed Hospital, 17 in Ganga Ram Hospital, 41 in Services Hospital, 15 in LGH, 40 in Jinnah Hospital, 21 in Childrenís Hospital and 89 in private clinics and other hospitals.
Uptil now, more than 28,394 cases of dengue had been reported in Punjab, out of which over 17,000 were from Lahore alone.
About 75 percent of the patients belonged to the age group of 15-50 years, while 70 percent of the patients were male and 30 percent were female.
Due to the growing number of dengue cases, patients are finding it very hard to get admitted into hospitals and to acquire platelet kits that are necessary for the treatment of dengue. This is due to the fact that the number of patients is constantly on the rise and the hospitals are facing a mass influx of patients, more than they can accommodate.
Meanwhile, dengue cases are also increasing in Faisalabad where four people have died uptil now and 25 were shifted to different hospitals in critical condition. The number of dengue patients in the Nishtar Hospital and DHQ Multan has reached 450.
Moreover, 272 dengue fever cases have been confirmed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, out of which 62 patients are under treatment in different hospitals.
On the research front, the researchers from the Wellcome Trust, Oxford University, and Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) have identified two genetic variants that increase chances of a person to get infected with severe dengue. However, no clinically-approved vaccine or specific treatment has been outlined for the disease as yet. The researchers have identified changes in the DNA code in two genes ó MICB on chromosome 6 and PLCE1 on chromosome 10 ó that increase a personís susceptibility to dengue.
Their findings were based on a comparative study of 2,008 patients against 2,018 controls (who were dengue-free), all children, followed up with another set of 1,737 cases and 2,934 controls, also children, the journal Nature Genetics reported.
Dengue is the most common mosquito-borne infection after malaria, with an estimated 100 million infections occurring worldwide annually.
Symptoms range from mild to incapacitating high fever, with potentially deadly complications, said a Wellcome Trust statement.