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Dengue and the Street Children

On September 2nd I wrote an article explaining the need for mosquito netting to prevent dengue haemorrhagic fever virus from affecting the children.  Unfortunately, I received word on the 15th of the month that three of the boys had come down with it.

On August 26th of this year, the Virology Journal, an open access, peer reviewed journal, published an article about a study conducted in Pakistan Circulating serotypes of dengue virus and their incursion into non-endemic areas of Pakistan; a serious threat.  In the study, they looked at the 2011 outbreak in Punjab where 290 people died in Lahore alone and the 2013 outbreak in the Swat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where 57 lost their lives.  Although dengue had been circulating in Pakistan since 1994, this was mostly restricted to the areas of Sindh and Punab provinces until the 2013 outbreak in Swat District, KP, so the study was conducted to document the different outbreaks in different territories of the country.

Dengue fever is an important mosquito-borne viral disease, caused by one of the four closely related but antigenically distinct dengue virus serotypes (DENV-1 to 4).“- article   If you had contracted and survived a bout of DENV-2, then you would be immune to DENV-2 in the future, but not immune to DENV-1, DENV-3, or DENV-4.  What they found was that all four serotypes were present in the Punjab outbreak of 2011 which showed for the first time that all four serotypes of dengue are present in Pakistan. “Concurrent infection determination in this study is a very important observation which leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome,” says lead author of the study Amjad Ali, a molecular biologist at the University of the Panjab, Lahore.  “The phenomenon of antibody-dependent enhancement is also linked to concurrent infection.”

“David Harley, an epidemiologist at the Australian National University, Canberra, said the paper provides more evidence of the ongoing increase in dengue incidence globally.

Dengue is more likely to produce severe disease in secondary infections with a different serotype,” said Harley. “The finding that all four serotypes are circulating in Pakistan increases the likelihood of secondary infection and hence, severe disease.””

It should be noted that in the 2011 outbreak in Lahore, more than 23,000 people were hospitalized.  The street children that we support are in the city of Faisalabad, which is about 2 hours from Lahore.  “According to World Health Organization (WHO), the annual incidence of dengue infection is 100 million, of which approximately 500,000 patients develop dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) that may lead to dengue shock syndrome (DSS) with a mortality rate of more than 2.5 %.” – report.

As I stated in my previous article,  of all those infected, the dengue death rate is usually only 1% of cases, but that is with proper medical care.  The street children are not on a health plan, they have no insurance, they don’t even have proper clothing.  They are a large part of the 1% that die.

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These children have been suffering for a number of days already, so the need to get them treatment increases by the hour.  The immediate need is for $500 for transportation to Lahore and then full treatment there.

These children are orphans.  They don’t have Social Services to take care of them.  They live on the streets.

Would you stand up and help us take care of these children?

Every single penny we raise goes toward the children’s support.  We don’t have an office to pay for, and there is no one on a salary.

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