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Elimination of mosquito-breeding sites within households urged

KARACHI: A few dengue patients develop severe symptoms which are characterised by complications, including profuse bleeding, organ impairment and plasma leakage. The mainstay of prevention currently is the elimination of mosquito breeding within households and the use of mosquito repellents. A vaccine is also available, but has limitations.

A health expert highlighted these points at a public awareness seminar organised on dengue prevention at the International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University.

`There are currently no antiviral treatments specific to dengue and severe dengue that has a high mortality risk while research is ongoing regarding direct-acting antiviral therapies for dengue that will providebroad protection against the disease,` said Dr Bushra Jamil, professor at the department of medicine at Aga Khan University (AKU).

Early diagnosis and timely administration of appropriate supportive care could improve clinical outcomes and substantially reduce mortality risk, she added. The warning signs in dengue, she pointed out, included severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, mucosal bleeding, rapid breathing, lethargy or restlessness.

According to her, a vaccine to prevent dengue is available in some countries for people aged 9 to 45. The World Health Organisation recommends that the vaccine only be given to persons with confirmed prior dengue virus infection.-Staff Reporter