BUNER: After Khyber tribal district, dengue has reared its ugly head in Buner as two women have died of the disease in Salarzai and Jawar areas during the last one week.
The prevailing situation has created concern among the local people as dozens of people are daily being infected and they are ending up in hospitals.
On Friday, the wife of Awami National Party (ANP) leader and local Jirga member Umar Yousafkhel died of dengue fever after which the area people are more concerned about the issue.
Although the local administration came into action after emergence of several dengue cases, but it was a bit late then because new dengue cases are emerging in the area despite fumigation and sanitation drive. The local people said if proper attention was not paid to the problem then dengue cases would further increase and the situation may go totally out of control.
The local residents said Elam has already been recognised as malaria-hard area and huge funds are allocated every year for elimination of malaria and dengue. However, they said, the administration only comes into action when dengue cases already appear in an area. They said the administration should have initiated fumigation with the start of summer season. However, as usual, the spray was applied quite late, and the result is that now the problem has appeared in a dangerous shape.
Several dengue cases had also surfaced in Landikotal tehsil of Khyber tribal district last month after which a team of the health department was sent to affected areas.
Dengue was almost forgotten when coronavirus was on its peak in Pakistan and rest of the world. However, with effective steps by the government now coronavirus has been overcome to a great extent. However, the threat of both coronavirus and dengue virus still exists in case people do not observe precautionary measures.
Dengue, like the coronavirus, is a viral disease, but the infection is spread by a vector, a mosquito, which transmits the virus through its bite. Dengue is a tropical disease, and has grown in Pakistan beyond its East African habitat because of global warming.
The disease’s first outbreak in Pakistan was in 2011 when it killed around 300 people. Dengue fever outbreak happens every year as the mosquito carrying the disease has not been eradicated. The main standard operating procedures (SOPs) against dengue include removing of stagnant water and other things which can serve as breeding places for the mosquito, and anti-mosquito fumigation.