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Government Rejects Emergence of a New Dengue Strain

Author: Iqra Zafar
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Government rejects claims on emergence of a new dengue virus strain that is making people sick, saying that the same old strains are responsible for

Islamabad: Government rejects the claims of the emergence of a new dengue strain amid the recent surge in dengue cases across the country. The National Institute of Health (NIH) called it a hoax saying that there was no new dengue strain reported. Previously reported strains of the virus are causing trouble and affecting people with the virus. 

Pakistan is currently witnessing health challenges due to ongoing floods in the country. Dengue emergence is surely one among these. Currently, we saw a surge in dengue cases. According to the reports, in the past 24 hours, approximately 400 dengue cases were reported from Sindh alone, said the provincial health minister on Sunday.

Similarly, other provinces also reported an increase in the number of dengue cases which makes the annual dengue cases in the country cross 10 thousand. Amidst this recent surge in dengue cases, there were claims about the emergence of a new dengue strain that was causing people severe illness. However, the claim was rejected by NIH.

“No new variant of dengue virus has been reported, it is just a hoax,” said an official from NIH addressing the reports on the emergence of a new dengue strain. Some other experts including the Federal Minister of Climate Change said that this surge in the cases of dengue is due to the unprecedented rains and floods that recently hit the country.

There are only four dengue stereotypes reported yet, said health professionals. Addressing the matter, Prof Dr. Saeed Khan from the Dow University of Health Science stated that “Actually, when a man is infected with one serotype, he develops antibodies for that particular type. But when the same person is infected with another serotype, he or she gets severely sick because the existing antibodies of previous serotypes help the newly-entered virus to infect the person.

Another researcher Prof Ishtiaq Ahmed also commented on this recent surge and dengue virus mutation saying, “I think our relatively larger population has probably been infected by one serotype, and now the people, who are being infected by the second serotype are showing severe symptoms. With the increase in infection and re-infection rate, we will see more cases of severe dengue and God forbid severe outcome.