Pakistan: 'Mysterious' viral fever similar to dengue reported in Karachi

Doctors observed a drop in patients' platelets and white blood cells



Reuters file
Reuters file

By ANI

Published: Sat 13 Nov 2021, 9:42 AM

Last updated: Sat 13 Nov 2021, 10:32 AM

Cases of “mysterious viral fever” are being witnessed in Pakistan’s Karachi that behaves exactly like dengue fever as it reduces platelets and white blood cells of the patients, local media reported citing field experts.

The News International, citing clinicians and pathologists on Thursday, said that when the viral fever was tested for dengue, the result comes out to be negative.

“For a couple of weeks, we are seeing cases of viral fever, in which platelets and white blood cells are dropping while other clinical symptoms are also similar to the dengue fever. But when NS1 antigen of these patients is performed, their tests come out to be negative,” Professor Saeed Khan, head of molecular pathology at the Dow University of Health Sciences, said, according to the publication.

Other experts, including physicians and hemato-pathologists from different hospitals of the city, have also confirmed that a dengue virus-like pathogen is circulating in Karachi, causing a disease that is acting similar to dengue fever and requires the same treatment protocols but it is not dengue fever.

A molecular scientist, Dr Muhammad Zohaib, who is associated with the Children’s Hospital in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, also confirmed that cases of viral fever, which was not dengue but had dengue-like symptoms, had been witnessed by them as well as several other pathologists in the city.

“Owing to this mysterious viral disease in addition to growing number of dengue fever cases, there is an extreme shortage of mega units of platelets as well as random units in the city. People are moving from pillar to post for mega units and random platelets units for their loved ones,” he said.

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As many as 45 new dengue fever cases have been reported in Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad on Friday, ARY News reported citing the district health officer (DHO) said.

According to Pakistani media, a total of 4,292 mosquito-borne viral disease cases have been reported in the federal capital in the current season.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that is common in warm, tropical climates and often peaks during rainy seasons.


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