Cholera outbreak in Lahore as more than 2,000 children hospitalized

Lahore's public health officials are concerned that the country's dated sewerage infrastructure could have polluted the drinking water supply lines.

Cholera outbreak in Lahore as more than 2,000 children hospitalized

The city of Lahore has reported an outbreak of Cholera, as Communicable Disease Control (CDC) Department Punjab has revealed that more than 2,000 children have been hospitalized since 1st April 2022.

The CDC has also confirmed 9 positive cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD). These findings are from public sector teaching hospitals in Lahore, and it is safe to say that cases in private sector healthcare institutions and to other general practitioners could be higher than the data CDC has.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled the disease a worldwide hazard to public health, and a sign of socioeconomic inequality and lack of social development. The management of Children’s Hospital reported that it is currently treating 500 children with acute diarrhea daily, which is a higher number than last year.

Punjab CDC Director, Dr. Shahid Maghsi said that the evaluation of 2,000 cases of acute diarrhea has been reported by government hospitals in Lahore only, and they are contacting family physicians to assess the actual numbers.

The President of the Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), Dr. Tariq Mian is of the view that health authorities are withholding information to showcase lesser severity of the disease. He added that half of the 60,000 family physicians in Punjab are practicing in Lahore, and 40% of their patients have been complaining of diarrhea.

Lahore’s public health officials are concerned that the country’s dated sewerage infrastructure could have polluted the drinking water supply lines and is leading to cholera. Dr. Maghsi said that authorities have initiated an awareness campaign by engaging clinicians, the Water and Sanitation Agency, and the Punjab Food Authority.

The CDC has also written to the Lahore Commissioner to urge officials to ensure that the drinking water is not contaminated due to the sewerage system. This outbreak can be prevented only by providing better sanitation.

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