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Official: Pakistan Experiencing Among Worst-Ever Dengue Outbreaks

A worker fumigates to kill mosquito larvae to fight the spread of dengue fever in Karachi on September 20.

Pakistan is undergoing one of its worst-ever dengue fever epidemics recording about 20,000 cases and 34 confirmed deaths in recent months, a top Pakistani health official said.

The disease has hit urban areas of Pakistan, including the capital, Islamabad, placing hospitals countrywide under severe strain, Rana Mohammad Safdar, a top official at the National Institute of Health, said on October 3.

Authorities are conducting anti-mosquito spraying in urban areas to contain the spread of disease, the health official said.

Prolonged monsoon rains have been blamed for the outbreak, whereas the opposition has accused the government of not taking timely measures to prevent it, AP reported.

"Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection" that causes a severe flu-like illness and sometimes causes a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue, according to the World Health Organization.

Dengue is prevalent in poor areas areas, suburbs and the countryside, but also affects more affluent neighborhoods in tropical and subtropical countries.

Based on reporting by AP
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