Dengue menace turns alarming

Mosquito-borne disease dengue has struck the city amid the variation in rainfall pattern, spreading rapidly in all areas. According to the report of Emergency Operation Center and Control Room of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), about 1,643 people with dengue infection were admitted to different governmental and non-governmental hospitals over the past 12 days of this month (July).

The figure represents about 137 people being admitted to hospitals per day. Besides, about 1,699 people infected with dengue were admitted to different hospitals in June this year against the 428 infected in June last year. A total of 10,148 people were infected with dengue last year (2018) and 26 of them died. It was a record for the number of dengue cases in a year. The previous highest was 6,232 in 2002.

Meanwhile, at least 11 people died from dengue fever between April and July while at least three people died last year, according to sources. However, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) confirmed three deaths between April and July due to dengue. Experts and doctors said that the dengue situation is aggravating.

Meanwhile, in two different studies, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDRB) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) of the health department have recently revealed that the mosquito-medicine used by two city corporations in the capital cannot kill mosquito. Tafif Tawrat, a three and a half years old minor baby was infected with dengue. After being diagnosed with dengue, he was admitted to a hospital on July 7.

On Friday noon, his mother was found sitting gloomily beside the baby in the hospital. The baby's father was communicating with other persons for blood A+ (A positive) blood, urgently needed for his baby. Earlier, the child had been infected with dengue at the age of seven months. Tafif Tawrat was sent to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital in the evening.

The child's father Md Mohiuddin said, "I'm helpless. My baby was twice infected by dengue at this age. I pay taxes regularly. But the mayor cannot kill mosquitoes. Now, we are hearing that mosquito killer medicines are ineffective. This responsibility cannot be avoided by the government or the mayor. Why do we have to spend so much money in hospital because of their failure?" On Saturday, to see the patients infected with dengue, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon visited a hospital at Khilgaon in the capital.

Earlier, the Mayor said that the medicines they are using to kill the mosquitoes are "slightly less effective" while assuring that the situation "is under control".
Over 3000 dengue patients have been hospitalised since April, of them, many were later released. Currently, 551 dengue patients are being treated. People are getting admitted to different hospitals with mosquito-related diseases, especially dengue fever, as mosquito breeding has increased this rainy season, he said.
Earlier, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said, the number of dengue patients had increased in recent months.

He also admitted that there had been "one or two deaths" from dengue. Meanwhile, health ministry and authorities concerned have asked the authorities of all hospitals concerned to take necessary measures to combat dengue. When contacted, Professor Abul Kalam Azad, Director General of Health Services told Bangladesh Post, “The season with intermittent rains and hot and humid episodes of weather actually favours the Aedes mosquitoes, carriers of the dengue virus, to breed."

"We do not worry about the numbers but we worry about a lack of knowledge of the citizens. In fact, concerned about the situation of dengue infection, I met expert doctors today (Thursday) to seek advice on the best possible actions to reduce incidences of the infection,” said Prof Azad. He strongly advised on testing all fever cases for suspected dengue. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical viral disease. Typically, symptoms, including fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and skin rash, start to show three to 14 days after infection from mosquito bites.

The first case of dengue in Bangladesh was recorded in 2000. Until 2018, at least 50,176 people suffered from the fever and 296 died. Most of the patients were from Dhaka or its neighbouring districts and they took treatment in hospitals and clinics in the capital, according to the directorate of health.