‘Chances thin for dengue to be epidemic this year’

* Research claims Lahore, Rawalpindi to remain safe, but disease might spread in Multan and Rahim Yar Khan
‘Chances thin for dengue  to be epidemic this year’

LAHORE: A virologist of the Punjab University’s Dengue Research Group (PUDRG) has predicted that dengue will not spread in Lahore, but people need to take preventive measures to cope with disease.
In this connection, Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran on Friday presided over a meeting of the PUDRG at the Al Raazi Hall in which MPA Khawaja Imran Nazir, Registrar Prof Dr Amin Ather, Dengue Research Group Chairman Dr Saeed Akhter, Environment Secretary Anwar Rashid, University of Health Sciences’ Prof Dr Muhammad Aslam and other experts participated.
Briefing the participants, PU’s Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB) Associate Professor Dr Idrees Khan said that his research showed that there would be no outbreak of dengue fever in Lahore and Rawalpindi, and the situation was very positive this year. 
He said that last year, the CEMB received 500 samples from Rawalpindi, of which around half were tested positive. 
However, he said that dengue fever was likely to spread in Multan and Rahim Yar Khan this year. He said that if the samples were provided to the CEMB, the level of outbreak could be forecasted.
Lauding the research work of Dr Idrees Khan, Mujahid Kamran said that in the beginning of 2013, Dr Khan predicted that dengue fever would not spread like an outbreak in Lahore, and his forecast proved true.
MPA Khawaja Imran Nazir said that the Punjab government was taking all-out measures to cope with dengue, and that enthusiastic community participation was required to prevent dengue. 
Congratulating Mujahid Kamran for taking an initiative against dengue, he said that the PU was the first institution to take this step, and the PU VC was taking personal interest in the fight against dengue.
Dr Saeed Akhter said that since Eidul Fitr was falling in July, travellers needed to take preventive measures.

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