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What Are The Most Effective Strategies To Control Dengue Virus?

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Aiyza Javaid writes about how dengue virus has taken the form of an epidemic in different areas of Pakistan and how the only effective way to stop this virus from spreading is by adopting the latest preventive measures.

Cases of dengue fever are on the rise in Pakistan and it has gradually become a public health crisis in the country. This disease is usually pervasive during the monsoon season in August and between the months of September to December.

Dengue spreads when an infected female mosquito, known as Aedes aegypti, transmits this virus to a healthy person through a bite. This infection is spread over a period of 10 days and is accompanied by fever, along with constant body aches and severe headaches.

Several methods and strategies can be employed to fight this disease and to bring it under complete control. Such strategies fall into the category of chemical, biological and physical methods.

The physical method deals with geographic information system (GIS) which aids in locating the areas where dengue larvae are present in large numbers.

As part of this process, a proper surveillance method is formulated in order to figure out the extent and distribution of the dengue larva along different geographical locations. With the increasing use of the latest technology, this method is proving useful in fighting against the dengue virus.

By using this strategy, the location of the dengue larva is identified, after which genetically modified mosquitoes are mixed into the vector population which disrupts the sexual reproduction of female mosquitoes. Hence, a decrease in the population of the mosquitoes has been witnessed due to this method and cases of dengue are now declining.

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Effective implementation of chemical strategies also helps in controlling an outbreak of dengue virus. This strategy focuses on employing some traditional practices like spraying insecticides in dengue concentrated areas and ensuring timely fumigation.

Spraying insecticides stops the growth of dengue larva and reduces the chances of the dengue virus from being transmitted to healthy people.

Employing several vaccines and adopting immunotherapy is another solution that falls into the category of chemical strategy. It is necessary to disseminate proper information among citizens about the utilisation of this vaccine so that medical experts and consultants could counter the dengue virus successsfully.

Lady health workers are responsible for inspecting and surveying different household units to disseminate information about the disease among the general population, and teach them about its harmful effects and ways to prevent this disease at different stages.

In order to control the spread of this disease, household units should be well-examined to prevent concentration of water in pots and in other secluded areas of the house. Awareness should also be disseminated about the concentration of stagnant water in different parts of the house as it could lead to an outbreak of dengue, which should be avoided at all costs.

In addition, several community programmes should also be initiated to control the dengue virus. Different seminars can be held in every town and municipality of Pakistan where this virus is pervasive.

Such seminars should focus on the know-how about dengue virus, how it is spread, preventive measures to control it and other important aspects of this disease. Concrete efforts should be taken on a large-scale at par with other Asian countries like Singapore, where this virus is commonly treated with much success.

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Singapore has employed a community alert system whereby larva of dengue mosquito is quickly detected using the latest medical measures, and then treated accordingly.

The aforementioned measures, if implemented effectively, can help to effectively control and treat dengue virus in our country.

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