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Dengue menace amid corona pandemic

Published : 21 Aug 2021 09:53 PM | Updated : 22 Aug 2021 12:18 AM

Dengue outbreak is on the rise in the recent months, imposing more death threat than previous years, according to health experts. Children are being the worst affected of it.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the risk of dengue and its death threat are increasing. The government has already announced to set up separate hospitals for dengue patients as dengue cases have been increasing continuously.

A total of 19 people have died across the country due to dengue this month so far. Some 31 people have died of dengue this year. Of them, 12 died in July. The Health Emergency Operations Center and Control Room of the Department of Health reported made the disclosure recently.

IEDCR Director Professor Tahmina Shirin told Bangladesh Post that people should diagnose for both dengue and Covid-19 when feeling sick. The symptoms of dengue and corona are quite similar. So, an individual should not risk testing for just any of them. 

“The country now has treatment for dengue, but when the patient has corona too, he or she needs to be kept in isolation. This is a challenge for the treatment providers,” she said.

In a health bulletin on August 18, spokesperson of the Department of Health, Professor Nazmul Islam said that death from dengue was alarming.

He said, "The number of dengue cases is not significantly higher than other years, but the death toll is higher and it is a matter of great concern."

He also said, “3,992 dengue patients were identified in August till then and 2,026 patients in July.”

He further said that if anyone has a fever, he/she needs to be tested for dengue and Covid-19.

Specialist and doctors have also said that this time dengue is affecting youths and children more.

Confirming the information, Dhaka Children's Hospital Director Prof. Safi Ahmed said, “More dengue patients are being identified this year as compared to last year. A total of 80 minor dengue patients have been admitted to Dhaka Children's Hospital in a day till Saturday morning.”

He said that mosquito breeding has increased in the current monsoon season due to piles of garbage all around the city and dirty drains. However, the mosquito-borne disease can be controlled only if the city is kept clean and the mosquito breeding grounds are destroyed, he added.

A total of 32 people were identified with dengue in January this year, nine in February, 13 in March, three in April, 43 in May, 282 in June and 2,026 in July.

Since Covid-19 and dengue both share fever as a symptom, doctors have requested not only Covid but also dengue test is mandatory in case of fever.

Wahidullah Amin, a resident of the capital’s Rayer Bazar area told Bangladesh Post, "Every day the news states that the city corporations are doing various things to control dengue. However, in reality I do not see any worker spraying larvicide. The city corporation should increase the number of workers to keep the city clean and dengue-free.”

While talking to this correspondent, Zunayed Ahmed, a resident of the Badda area of the capital made quite similar allegation. He said, "I heard that Badda is one of the 17 hotspots for dengue in Dhaka. However, I have not seen anyone from the city corporation spraying mosquito larvicide in recent days.”

However, the city corporations’ authorities said that they were taking regular actions to control dengue. Regular operations are being carried out to eradicate the aedes larvae, they added.