Three fresh cases of measles, three suspected cases of dengue fever and one confirmed case of swine flu in Rawalpindi reported at Holy Family Hospital (HFH) on Saturday has set alarm bells ringing in the city.
Dr Javed Hayat, head of the infectious diseases section at HFH, informed The Express Tribune that the latest occurrences of measles had increased the total number of cases reported in the city this year to 60.
He said most of the children brought in for treatment were not vaccinated against the disease.
The three patients who had been clinically diagnosed with dengue fever upon being admitted at HFH were later cleared as laboratory tests confirmed negative results, Hayat explained.
He clarified there was only one confirmed case of swine flu — of 45-year-old Dr Matloob Ahmed from Gujjar Khan — from the five initially suspected. Ahmed, who is on a ventilator, is reported to be in critical condition.
District Health Officer (DHO) for Rawalpindi Dr Khalid Randhawa while talking to The Express Tribune confirmed that one to two cases of measles were emerging from the city every day but that the condition was under control with no serious threat of an outbreak.
“Currently measles is endemic not an epidemic in Rawalpindi,” Randhawa said.
Thus far 12,000 children have been vaccinated against measles in all those areas from where cases were reported, he claimed.
Randhawa reiterated that not a single case of dengue – suspected or confirmed – had been reported in the city.
“Dengue fever season has not yet started therefore it is impossible to have dengue suspect case in this season,” he said.