PESHAWAR – The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has declared public health emergency following the dengue outbreak in Pakistan’s northern province.

Media reports suggest three doctors and 3,900 other patients are under treatment at various hospitals in the province.

A notification issued by the chief minister office on Thursday asked the departments concerned to procure the necessary items and medicines to immediately take measures for the control and prevention of the mosquito-borne disease.

As many as 13 deaths by dengue have been reported in the province, mostly in Peshawar’s Tehkal locality, where the vector-borne problem broke out in early July.

All hospitals have established anti-dengue wards for men and women, where suspected cases are being screened and given medication free of charge.

The Khyber Teaching Hospital, a medical teaching institution, has established a separate outdoor patient department for dengue patients.

Five laboratory counters with three hematology machines, three centrifuge machines and dengue serology station with 22 technicians, 14 internees and four supervisory staff working under director (pathology) Dr Mohammad Asghar dealt specifically with dengue patients, the government said in a statement.

So far out of 947 patients admitted to the hospital, 597 have been sent home after recovery.

Some 214 patients are still under treatment in different units of the hospital, while 13,206 suspected people have been screened free of charge for dengue and 2,323 of them have tested positive for the disease.

There is no treatment for dengue, which causes symptoms including fever, severe joint pain, headaches and bleeding.

People have been advised to use mosquito nets and insect repellents and to avoid storing water in open pots where the larvae can breed.