In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Pakistan’s health authorities are working hard to contain the spread of dengue. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: Pakistan’s health authorities are struggling to contain the spread of dengue virus cases while battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are the two provinces where most of the cases are being reported. With 905 cases from Lahore, the total tally of dengue virus cases this year has surged to 1,082.

At least 90 cases of dengue have been reported across Punjab over the past 24 hours with 81 in Lahore alone, according to health officials. The mosquito-borne disease has infected nearly 32 more people in Islamabad in the last 24 hours, taking the city’s total number of cases to 177.

With the surge in daily cases, health officials are making efforts to contain the threat of a possible outbreak. “We are continuously monitoring the situation for both dengue and COVID-19 as our teams are out there making all the necessary efforts,” said Islamabad District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Zaeem Zia.

The district and city health authorities have deployed teams to carry out fumigation and spray in areas where the dengue larvae had been found to clean up the mosquito breeding sites.

Dengue is a potentially lethal disease spread by mosquitoes. Dengue viruses are spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus is not contagious and cannot be spread directly from person to person. It typically spreads in the monsoon season as the rainfall provides breeding sites for the mosquitoes.

Neighbouring countries India and Bangladesh have also reported significant dengue cases recently.

Pakistan has experienced several dengue outbreaks since the first outbreak in 1994. The two major outbreaks were reported in 2005 in which over 6,000 cases with 52 deaths were reported from Karachi while in 2011, more than 21,000 cases were reported from Lahore with 350 deaths.