Dengue fever grips Pakistan

An outbreak of dengue fever in Lahore, Pakistan, has killed 25 people and sickened approximately 6,000 more over the past two months.

Ikhlaq Ahmed, a spokesman for the health department of Punjab province, said that a total of 6,400 cases have been documented in total as a result of the outbreak, according to CNN. All but 400 of the cases have occurred in Pakistan’s cultural capital of Lahore, a city of more than six million people.

On average during the outbreak, there are now 300 new cases of dengue fever every day. All 25 who have died from the mosquito-borne virus are from Lahore.

“We prefer to stay at home rather than going shopping, because of the threat of disease,” Zainab Khan, a 25-year-old Lahore professional, said, CNN reports.

All schools in Lahore have been closed by the city government, as panic grips the thousands who have crowded hospitals for testing. Others are simply staying home despite the threat to their livelihoods.

"I may lose my job," Asim Hussain, an office worker in Lahore, said, CNN reports.

Abdul Razzaq, an official from the National Institute of Health, said that all local governments are operating in an emergency environment, according to RFERL.org.

"We are spraying the affected areas [for mosquitoes] twice daily," Razzaq said, according to RFERL.org. "The government also plans to purchase insecticides from Sri Lanka, and may send staff there to buy it and bring it here."