Via The Express Tribune: Chikungunya engulfs coastal belt of Karachi. Excerpt:
Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne viral fever, has now taken over the coastal belt of Karachi after its first outbreak in Malir district last year.
Thousands of patients have flocked to the hospitals but the Sindh health department and local government have unable to provide relief to the victims. The Sindh government is still unable to test the suspected cases of Chikungunya virus, still considering it a new and unknown disease. However, the first case was tested positive in December last year when the samples were sent to Islamabad.
Muhammad, 20, a resident of Ibrahim Hyderi, told The Express Tribune that he has been suffering from severe joint pain for the last one week with high-grade fever. Although, the fever is gone but his body aches due to the virus, which according to the doctors, is Chikungunya.
Another victim with the same symptoms, Ghulam Fatima, 40 remarked, “Three members of my family had the virus earlier this month but the doctors failed to diagnose the disease.” She added that the government still lacks the facility to treat the disease despite its first spread in Malir three months ago, which affected thousands of residents. “The hygiene and sanitary conditions in our area depict the worst picture but no government department seems committed to resolving the main issue of our area.”
Mir Zaman, a resident of Keamari, a costal neighbourhood also talked about his miseries. He said a mosquito-borne viral disease has affected the residents of Keamari but the government has failed to announce the outbreak and provide relief to the victims as it was done in Malir district. Zaman added that the disease has been affecting people but the government has not even maintained the record of the affected as the patients are not being diagnosed.
According to a medical officer in the government hospital of Ibrahim Hyderi, the flow of patients with high-grade fever and body pain has been stabilised. Earlier, he said, hundreds of patients visited the hospital with a complaint but the doctors have no other option but to prescribe them with a symptomatic treatment since they do not have a diagnosis facility in Karachi.