Monday, October 31, 2011

Dengue outbreak in Lahore, Pakistan

There's a huge dengue (fever) outbreak in Lahore, Pakistan. The monsoon season hit early and hard, so the temperature and amount of standing water is ideal for mosquito breeding. Over the past month and a half-ish, more than 30,000 people have gotten sick. Hospitals are crammed, and individual health workers sometimes test more than 1000 patents a day. Many have recovered, but 323 people have died. (Interestingly, the only day no one's died is Sunday: the 9th, 23rd, and 30th.) That's pretty amazing, even in a population of 6 million.

It's amazing to me that epidemics can be spread through mosquitos. I think of epidemics as being spread by coughing, but in this case if you're sick and a mosquito bites you and then bites the person next to you in bed, you've effectively infected the other person. Thus, sick patients aren't wearing masks, but are shrouded in mosquito nets! I think they're spraying and sucking viruses up in an effort to contain the mosquito population. See pictures.

The other article.



Annelise said...
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Annelise said...

also, in worse flooding/rural areas, maybe this prevents outbreaks too?

spiders in trees!