Earlier a Sindh Government report had said that 95% of all dengue cases reported in the country were from Karachi alone. It also said that in the first 10 days of June the city saw 51 cases of dengue fever.
An average of 20 news cases are being reported in Karachi every week and this could become worse with the advent of monsoon, predicted to arrive by the end of June or early July.
There is no known cure or vaccination for dengue. According to the World Health Organization, the only method to control or prevent the transmission of dengue virus is to combat the mosquitoes that transmit it:
- preventing mosquitoes from accessing egg-laying habitats by environmental management and modification;
- disposing of solid waste properly and removing artificial man-made habitats;
- covering, emptying and cleaning of domestic water storage containers on a weekly basis;
- applying appropriate insecticides to water storage outdoor containers;
- using of personal household protection such as window screens, long-sleeved clothes, insecticide treated materials, coils and vaporizers;
- improving community participation and mobilization for sustained vector control;
- applying insecticides as space spraying during outbreaks as one of the emergency vector-control measures;
- active monitoring and surveillance of vectors should be carried out to determine effectiveness of control interventions.
Residents demand action
Meanwhile, a group of residents who live in Karachi’s Clifton neighbourhood sent in a photograph of a large still water pond in their locality and demanded that the Karachi municipal authorities drain it because it was an ideal breeding ground for mosquitos.
They said that the water had accumulated after a local builder had bought a large empty plot and dug it up for construction. However, for the past many months the excavation had stopped and now the groundwater had come and caused a large pond to form which was several feet deep.
Apart from the obvious hazard of such a relatively deep body of water in the vicinity of a residential neighboourhood, with no warning signs or barriers, the pond is ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and poses a very real health hazard with the onset of the dengue fever season, the residents said.