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Pakistan is reeling under the outbreak of vector-borne and water-borne diseases as many areas remain inundated by floodwaters. The UN has raised concern stating that the situation is particularly concerning in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.
Nearly 1,500 health facilities have been damaged due to the flood, disrupting vaccine cold chains across the country, according to Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The catastrophic floods have also damaged more than 2 million houses, displaced about 7.9 million people, and compelled thousands of them to live in temporary relief camps, he added.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vector-borne diseases constitute over 17 per cent of all infectious diseases and contribute to more than 700 000 deaths every year. Vector-borne diseases are either caused by parasites, bacteria or viruses.
Below are some common vector-borne diseases you should know:
Malaria: Transmitted by Anopheline mosquitoes, this parasitic infection leads more than 400,000 deaths every year, mostly in children under the age of 5 years, as per WHO data.
Dengue: Considered as the most prevalent viral infection, dengue is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes and is it responsible for an estimated 40,000 deaths every year.
Chikungunya fever, Zika virus fever, yellow fever, West Nile fever, and Japanese encephalitis are other viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. Tick-borne encephalitis is another viral disease transmitted by ticks.
Vector-borne diseases caused by bacteria include Plague (transmitted by fleas from rats to humans); Typhus and Louse-borne relapsing fever (transmitted by lice); Lyme disease Relapsing fever, and Rickettsial diseases (transmitted by ticks).
Consumption of water contaminated can lead to transmission of several diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. The WHO estimates that to microbiologically contaminated drinking water cause 485 000 diarrhoeal deaths annually.
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