forgotten menace – how ready are we?

what with the more immediate and admittedly less far fetched threat of dengue outbreak we seem to have overlooked the risk posed by the disease with the highest mortality rate in medical history – rabies. and at over 97% that is phenomenally high. and with an alarming rise in the number of stray dogs you can see around karachi, that might actually turn out to be a very real risk. dawn reported earlier this month of large numbers of dog bite cases in karachi, before dengue took over the headlines but the media heat is apparently off the city administration for now.

i have heard unconfirmed rumours of there being very low levels of blood supply available in karachi, indeed the sindh health secretary has made an appeal for blood donation to deal with potential shortages (and i think that as part of the ramzan experience and in the sprit of muslim charity we should all be out there giving up a pint), but i shudder to think what might happen if we run out of immunoglobulin vaccine normally administered after dog bite cases.

to further fuel the “worry about” factor is the fact that rabies can be transmitted by cats and rodents too, and karachi is absolutely littered with them. who has not seen a stray cat wander around their compounds? and there are loads of rats and chuchoonders (which i assume are some sort of mole) sneaking through the kiaree outside your boundary walls at night.

how does the city government deal with the problem? it ignores it.

2 Comments so far

  1. SWA (unregistered) on October 15th, 2006 @ 8:04 am

    Rabies, even though is very fatal, cannot be compared to Dengue in terms of the risk they propose. Rabies is transmitted through bites and sores etc which are got from an infected animal. Even though it is also a dangerous disease, its cases are more isolated and it doesnt pose a threat for an epidemic .

    Dengue Fever however, is a contagious disease that can easily be transmitted through mosquitoes which are practically everywhere in Karachi in large numbers. A mosquito that bites an infected person can easily bite and infect the whole family, Therefore, it is very necessary that the Dengue outbreak is not downplayed because it can easily become an epidemic that can affect the whole city. Including its posh areas.

    People should take this disease seriously and PLEASE if you have any stagnant water around your house, or water carrying plant containers etc, please treat them with larvicide that kills mosquito larvae.

    You can get more useful information about Dengue Fever (DF) and Dengue Hemorhagic Fever (DHF) here:

  2. Kashif (unregistered) on October 16th, 2006 @ 12:28 am

    The government is main culript in this case. They should have done the anti-malaria fumigation as soon as moonsoon season ended in Karachi. Also, the stagnant water ponds which have popped across the city and garbage dumps are breeding grounds from the mosquitos. I think citizens themselves should take the responsibility to protect their neighbourhoods.

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