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Dengue spreads to Karachi; 17 dead

At least 700 other suspected cases of dengue have been reported, prompting authorities to order emergency measures at all hospitals.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2006 15:40 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

After India and Nepal, dengue has now spread its tentacles in Pakistan with its port city Karachi reporting 17 deaths due to the vector-borne disease.

Apart from the 17 dead, hospitals here have admitted around 700 suspected dengue patients, prompting authorities to order emergency measures at all government and private hospitals.

"After proper tests we had some 230 of these patients testing positive for the virus.

Most of them have been treated successfully but 17 have died due to complications in different hospitals," Health Secretary Naushad Sheikh said on Saturday.

Though he ruled out a red alert situation in this industrial hub of Pakistan, he said the spread of the virus was being closely monitored so that it did not turn into an epidemic.

Since the monsoon rains, hospitals have reported around 700 suspected cases of the virus, which is spread by aedes mosquito that breeds in clean water containers and buckets and bites during the daytime, health officials said.

Doctors at a local hospital said that the government had taken steps to set up isolation wards for virus patients and were maintaining extra blood supply to meet all requirements.

"The patient infected with the virus suffers from blood deficiency and his platelet cells' count also goes down.

A lot of blood is required to treat patients, which is why we need more blood supply," Dr Shaukat Rajput of Liaquat National Hospital said.

First Published: Oct 14, 2006 15:40 IST