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RMJ. 2016; 41(2): 139-141

Dengue fever: A major public health problem of our time

Ejaz Ahmed Khan.

Dengue fever (DF) is the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral disease with high morbidity and mortality. There are estimated 390 million dengue infections per year, of which 96 million manifest clinically (with any severity of disease).1 Over the last 50 years the incidence has increased by 30-fold and it is estimated that 3900 million people, in 128 countries, are at risk of infection with dengue viruses.2 An estimated 500 000 people with severe dengue require hospitalization each year, a large proportion of whom are children. The global case fatality rates are 1-3%.
Pakistan had only few reported epidemics till 2008 from various parts of the country.3-7 After first outbreak in 1994,4 the sudden rise in cases and annual epidemic trend occurred first in Karachi in 2005-2006.6 The worst ever explosive epidemic occurred in Summer/fall 2011 and reporting of cases started in August in Lahore, Punjab, with over 16,580 confirmed cases and 257 deaths reported from Lahore district and an additional 5000 cases and 60 deaths reported from the rest of the province.8 In 2013, DF cases were reported from the less endemic areas also. A huge outbreak was seen in district Swat and increasing number were reported from adjacent district also and from Gawadar, Balochistan and Karachi.9

Key words: Dengue, DHF, DHH

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