Dengue outbreak has set a new record with the number of reported cases surging to 49,587 in Pakistan during the current year, taking a leap of over 5,000 cases in less than two weeks, it was reported on Monday. It's nearly double of the maximum number of Pakistanis infected with dengue in a year over the past decade, as previously the highest number of cases was reported eight years ago. In 2011, 27,000 people had been infected with dengue, Dawn news reported.
However, the previous death toll was 370, over four times of this year's 79 mortalities. Explaining major reasons for the surge, the spokesperson for the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), Sajid Shah, said: "This year unprecedented number of dengue cases has been reported across the globe. Besides, the mechanism of recording the cases has improved across the country."
According to an official document, as many as 13,173 cases were reported from Islamabad, 13,251 from Sindh, 9,855 from Punjab, 7,776 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 3,217 cases from Balochistan. Besides, 1,690 cases were reported from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) while 625 cases were placed in the ‘other' category which indicates that the cases' origin could not be found.
Meanwhile, no death was reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan while as many as 22 dengue patients died in the federal capital. Of the remaining 57 cases, 33 persons died in Sindh, 20 in Punjab, three in Balochistan and one in PoK.
Pakistan has experienced many dengue outbreaks since the first outbreak in 1994. During the past two decades, two major outbreaks were reported in the country. In 2005, over 6,000 cases with 52 deaths were reported from Karachi, while in 2011, more than 21,000 cases were reported from Lahore only with 350 deaths. Between 2011 and 2014 more than 48,000 confirmed cases of dengue were reported from across the country.
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