Myths about Dengue! Part4

As-Salam-o-Alaikum Respected Subscribers & Readers,

A lot has been said by medical experts on prevention/precautions of dengue fever: and local, provincial and national government also launched very heavy campaigns to control havoc/panic created by dengue fever. First Aid to Save a Life Pakistan would like to discuss some of the myths while discussing precautions and medications for dengue fever.

We have released 3 posts to clear the myths associated with dengue fever and this is our fourth post on the same subject, “Myths about Dengue!”

In our today’s post we will highlight one more myth associated with dengue and while presenting the rationale against the steps taken and advised by governmental authorities in Pakistan to control dengue are beyond our understanding.

4:- Drain the water from swimming pool and cultured water fountain then dry it and refill it 2 times a week – might be a problem for WAPDA and WASA/LSWM organizations also or might be a solution to combat dengue? Doubtful? This should be a BIG NO!

I was surprised the day I heard the news that government has issued the directive to stop service stations in Lahore from working and asked the hotels and owners of private swimming pools to drain the water and dry the pools to help them control dengue spread observed in Lahore in earlier September 2011.

To someone this may appear to be an act of bravery of CM or very calculated and proactive response to control the epidemic but there are also number of persons who think it was & still is not required and have nothing common to stop/control breeding of aedes mosquitoes. They also believe that this was a face-saving step to tell nation that they (government) do care about us and can go to every limit to save their lives.

Dengue mosquitoes don’t live near swimming pools and there is no record from any country who have asked their citizens to drain and dry their pools 2 times a week. See below notification by Govt. of Punjab in a newspaper and read clause # 5 for your information.

One thing we would like to appraise here is the promulgation of regulation to stop the infectious diseases and hope it does work well to have long-term benefits and fulfill its prime objective in near future.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention is the world leader (arguably) research center works to protect public health and safety by providing information to enhance health decisions, and it promotes health through partnerships with state health departments and other organizations. CDC focus disease prevention and control (especially infectious diseases and foodborne pathogens and other microbial infections), environmental health, occupational safety and health, health promotion, injury prevention and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of USA and in partnership with other global research centers and organizations like WHO.

Recently CDC has released two MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) Surveillance Summaries: “Surveillance for Waterborne Disease Outbreaks and Other Health Events Associated with Recreational Water—United States, 2007-2008” and “Surveillance for Waterborne Disease Outbreaks Associated with Drinking Water—United States, 2007-2008.”

The reports cover outbreaks associated with recreational water (e.g., swimming pools) and drinking water. In 2007-2008, the most recent year for which waterborne disease outbreak data are finalized, 134 outbreaks were associated with recreational water and 36 outbreaks were associated with drinking water. Surprisingly (for us) there is no mentioning of aedes mosquitoes presence which causing nuisance or leading to outbreak or even threat to their public in recreational water (e.g., swimming pool). We don’t have any research center in Pakistan on dengue yet we know that swimming pools help them breed and should be drained! Oops I forgot to complete my words that they should be drained and dried, “2 times a week”!

Note: Our intention was not to encourage you to publicly disobey the regulations passed by provincial or national government but it was/is to share what we believe and think about some of the actions performed by them and our understanding about the directive to close swimming pools to control dengue.

To Your Health, Safety & Knowledge,

Faisal Javed Mir & First Aid to Save a Life (FATSAL) Pakistan

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About Faisal Javed Mir

Faisal Javed Mir is Occupational Health and Safety Professional, having 15+ years of profound experience in training and consultancy. He has knowledge, skills, experience, tools, proven history and confidence to deliver what is required by the valued clients. He is teaching First Aid since 2006 and certified by MEDIC First Aid International of United States for many first aid certification programs. He is the only Instructor-Trainer by MEDIC First Aid and American Health and Safety Institute (ASHI) in Pakistan.
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