As dengue outbreak continues across the province unabated, two under-treatment patients lost their battle against the virus at the Ayub Medical Complex (AMC) in Abbottabad on Saturday, officials said.
The deaths came as eight people, including doctors and nurses, were tested positive for the disease on Saturday.
A total of 1,700 cases have so far been reported in the province, with over 70 patients receiving treatment at different hospitals across the province. With Saturday’s deaths, the total toll from dengue in the province has risen to 10.
In Peshawar, Dr Asad, Dr Kalimullah and Dr Shah Faisal of the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) contracted the virus along with two nurses including Shamma Gill, Nadia Ayub who tested positive for the disease.
Officials said, adding that they doctors and nurses were living in a hostel and are believed to have been bitten by infected mosquitoes there.
“We believe that staff members got infected within the bounds of their respective hostels,” said a KTH official.
Dispelling a misconception about dengue that it may be contagious, the official explained that the virus “does not spread from the patients suffering from it, but only when a mosquito bites someone.”
Although health authorities in the province are focusing on high-risk areas, most of the dengue cases are appearing and spreading fast in areas located adjacent to the tribal belt, officials said.
They added that those who tested positive belong to areas located near the KTH – which has somewhat become the main centre catering to the bulk of dengue patients – conducting 725 tests over the past 24 hours.
Apart from them, Aminul Haq, a ward boy at the Mardan Medical Complex, also tested positive for the virus.
Dr Abid, who was part of the medical team sent by the Punjab government, contracted the disease on August 21 and was sent home to his native province following his illness.
Officials said that apart from Peshawar, dengue cases were being reported from Swabi, Mardan, Buner and other mountainous regions. More than 17 patients have tested positive from Buner alone, they added.
Currently, one dengue patient is under treatment in Kohat, four in Buner, four in Swabi, eight in Abbottabad and Mansehra, and 372 in various hospitals in Peshawar.
The district administration fumigated Shadi Pir Chowk after the dengue case of the area was reported. Shaikha Kamran, a resident of Shadi Pir Chowk, tested positive for the virus and was shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH), officials said, adding that as a precaution 30 houses surrounding her residence were also fumigated.
Farooq, Umer. Two patients die of dengue virus in Abbottabad. The Express Tribune, August 27, 2017.