According to health officials at Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which is battling an outbreak of dengue virus, strip tests conducted for dengue fever yielded 50% false results.
Health Teams from Punjab Alerted
The Punjab-based health teams have been asked to shift their focus from conducting tests to start focusing on preventative measures against the virus.
“We knew this and would have stated it earlier but we feared that some people would use it for political gains and hence we remained silent”, a senior health official said.
The health units have been conducting tests for diagnosing dengue fever frequently. The tests which revealed false positives caused immense problems for the hospital administration and staff because the hospital was flooded with patients.
“Yes, it has panicked the general public and even after attempts, we have not been able to tell people that only patients who show the symptoms need to be admitted and treated for the dengue virus”, the official told.
In short, the hospitals felt that too much time was been wasted and that deserving patients were neglected.
About The Disease
Dr Iftikharuddin, an assistant professor for Community Medicines described the causes for the spread of the virus.
He told that the mosquitos are active in the time period between dawn and sunset and are unable to survive in temperatures over 40 degree Celsius and below 10 degrees Celsius.
He also mentioned that mechanical methods are more effective than chemical methods to overcome the problem.
Larvae can be killed only with the help of detergent, but the eggs cannot. Even at minus 50 degrees Celsius. [We can only kill them by] separating the eggs from fresh or stagnant water.
“We have empty pots everywhere in the home including pet feeders, flower pots, flower vase and specifically tires [the ideal place for mosquitoes to lay eggs] are some places where mosquitoes breed and these are the places which we need to focus on,” he said.
The daily situation report issued by the Dengue Control Room stated that over 1527 people had been screened for the virus around the province. Out of these, 290 of them were diagnosed with the virus and 137 were admitted.
The report also stated that about 641 people are currently receiving treatments in different hospitals around the province.
It also added that exactly 3,380 people were found to have been infected across the province. Nonetheless, 2,729 people have been discharged after successful treatment.
So far, 10 people have died due to the viral infection.