Tracing the outbreak

Dengue virus has caused a lot of commotion, moreso in the media than anywhere else. Nonetheless, this virus is for real; it gets you sick and it can kill you. The percentage of people who actually die from Dengue virus is, to the best of my knowledge, quite low. But here is the thing; Yesterday, I had the chance of meeting an old family friend, who had come over from Karachi.

In my attempt at summation, following is the list of things we talked about, in order:

1. He had Dengue virus, was sick for 15 to 20 days but, Alhumdulillah, got back to being healthy.
2. He got the virus before it made the news.
3. He was quite scared, because initally he thought it was just the flu. But his fever maintained at 101 to 102 C for four to five days.
4. He then told me that in some places in Karachi, there are actual ponds leftover from the recent rains that wrecked Karachi’s infrastructure.
5. In some places, these ponds are as deep as five feet.
6. I joked that people should start fishing there, now that it seems to be a permanant feature of KHE.

It was later that I did the maths:

Dengue virus from mosquitos. Mosquitos thrive on relatively cleaner ponds. Karachi had/has ponds. No sanitation. No sanitation usually equates to outbreaks. Like in Africa. In earthquake’s aftermath in Muzafarabad. Mosquitos get the required habitat, right in urban Karachi. They do what they do best, bite. Itch. Dengue. People love to travel. So does virus. Spread across Pakistan. Mark “Outbreak of a potentially deadly virus” as yet another fault of our own inefficieny. Blame Karachi’s authorities. Go to sleep at night with a light heart. Peace.

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