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22 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM

Dengue threat likely to prolong, say experts

Round-the-year surveillance stressed

Country’s leading experts have forecast that the prevailing dengue threat might be prolonged this year and suggested carrying out anti-mosquito drive throughout the year to bring the viral disease under control. Talking to The Independent, they said the dengue disease that was detected early this year had now assumed an epidemic proportion and it could continue till the end this year unless sustained effective measures were taken.

Measures should be taken to destroy the Aedes larvae, eradicate sources of mosquito breeding, establish proper dengue management, create public awareness, and ensure proper treatment to the patients, they said. “The dengue threat may continue till December with a lower level of prevalence. It cannot be asserted that the disease will disappear forever,” said former director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Dr Md Mahmudur Rahman.

He further said that, since the dengue menace had taken an epidemic form, there were chances of the disease prevalence to be prolonged. Dr Rahman said there were two major factors—environmental situation and control measures—to

combat the Aedes mosquitoes, the carrier of dengue disease.

He said that if the government took effective control measures, the environmental factor could be dealt with.

The leading epidemiologist suggested that the government should carryout anti-mosquito drives round the year to destroy Aedes larvae.

He also suggested going for a long-term dengue management programme to tackle the viral disease in the coming years. Prof Dr Khan Abul Kalam Azad, principal of the Dhaka Medical College, said there was no reason to think that the dengue threat would end after the rainy season. Instead, he suggested that public and private efforts to combat mosquitoes should continue round the year. The larvae of Aesdes mosquitoes were hatching early this year and may continue till we are able to destroy the larvae, he said.

Prof Azad, also head of department of medicine of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), emphasized the need to form ward-based committees, comprising families and people from public and private organizations, to carry on anti-mosquito drives throughout the year.

Anti-mosquito drives should be continued, sources of Aedes mosquitoes should be destroyed, awareness should be created among people, dengue management should be developed in each hospital and diagnosis centre to efficiently handle the dengue patients, he stressed.

In this connection, he emphasised the need to ensure proper diagnosis of the patients at hospitals and diagnostic centres.

The veteran physical also underlined the need to carryout surveillance against the spread of Aedes mosquitoes in the city and elsewhere by epidemiologists and government agencies to take measures for the coming years.

Dengue has taken an alarming turn this year. At least 47 people died of the deadly disease until yesterday this year. So far, more than 57,000 dengue patients have been admitted to different hospitals in the city and elsewhere in the country.

According to unofficial records, a total of 103 people died of dengue as of yesterday this year.

Chief health officer of the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Brigadier General Mohammed Mominur Rahman Mamun said they would continue their drives round the year. “It is not our look out as to how many days the dengue menace will prevail. Our mayor asked us to continue the anti-mosquito drive round the year,” he said.

He said the DNCC gave priority to removing the sources of Aedes mosquito and destroying their larvae as well as continuing the anti-mosquito drives.

The CHO emphasized the need to create awareness among the people about the way the Aedes mosquito spreads and to keep their premises clean.

The 1,572 dengue cases was recorded yesterday (Tuesday), while the total number of dengue patients this year was at least 56,369, more than five times higher than the previous year.

The death toll due to dengue disease was very high in the early 2000s when the disease was first detected in Bangladesh.

As per records, 93 people died of dengue in 2000 and 58 in 2002. Besides, six people died of dengue in 2015, 14 in 2016, eight in 2017 and 26 in 2018.

Record shows that the number of dengue patients was 1,151 in 2008 while 472 in 2009, 409 in 2010, 1,359 in 2011, 641 in 2012, 1,749 in 2013, 375 in 2014, 3,162 in 2015, 6,060 in 2016, 2,769 in 2017 and 10,148 in 2018.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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