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21 July, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 July, 2019 10:49:08 PM
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Dengue reaches alarming proportions in Dhaka

MD HABIBULLA, Dhaka
Dengue reaches alarming proportions in Dhaka

The dengue epidemic in the capital has assumed alarming proportions with the number of patients and the death toll climbing steadily. The situation is worsening in Dhaka with over 200 dengue patients being admitted to various city hospitals a day. There is not a single hospital in the capital without dengue patients. In just 24 hours of time, ending yesterday noon, 233 people were hospitalised in the capital.

World Health Organisation (WHO) delegates yesterday terming the situation as alarming but said it was still under control. The WHO delegation assured the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) to work in preventing diseases like dengue and chikungunya in the capital.

The city authorities have taken several initiatives to combat the mosquito menace but there has been no significant outcome yet.

According to data provided by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) control room, a total 233 patients affected by dengue was admitted to different government and private hospitals yesterday, while the number of patients were 211 on July 19 and 201 on July 18.

As of now, the number of deaths caused by dengue stood at five and at least 6,045 dengue patients were admitted to different hospitals in the capital till July 20.

The number of dengue patients has more than doubled in just 20 days this month compared to last month.

In June this year, a total of 1,770 dengue patients were admitted to hospitals, while the number has increased to 3,960 this month, according to DGHS data.   

Admitting that the situation was grave, DSCC mayor Sayeed Khokon said, “The dengue situation has deteriorated this year compared to the past several years, although it is still under control. There is no alternative to creating awareness in this regard.”

Until now, extremely high fever, rashes, and vomiting used to be considered symptoms of the fever but now doctors recommend going to them immediately when one comes down with fever.

Doctors say that dengue fever has taken an alarming turn as, this time round, the heart, kidneys and the brain are being affected, sending a patient into shock. They said that most dengue victims had died due to the ‘dengue shock syndrome’.

According to doctors, there has been a definite rise in the number of dengue

patients this year and children are more at risk.  Sounding the alarm, experts urged authorities concerned and people to take prompt action to destroy the larvae of Aedes mosquitos, the carrier of the virus.

Doctors say the first dengue fever attack weakens the human immune system. Hence, it takes a long time to recover if dengue strikes a second time. They warn that if city-dwellers are not alert and do not take preventive measures, they might come down with dengue.

Health experts have urged people not to panic over the current spurt in the incidence of dengue. People should keep their homes clean and get rid of unnecessary containers so that mosquitoes are unable to breed, they say.

Prof. Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, said people should keep the interiors and external environs of their houses clean, including the roofs. They should not let water remain in unused flowerpots, bottles, plastic bags and tyres where Aedes mosquitos often breed.

She advised people to go to the doctor if they had fever. She asked people to take rest and take a lot of fluid even after recovery as their health could deteriorate.

Experts felt climate change effects, intermittent rain, weather pattern changes and lack of cleanliness were the main reasons for this increase in dengue cases.

Prof. Sania Tahmina, director (disease control unit) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told The Independent that the number of patients had increased from that of the previous years because of climate change effects, unusual rainfall and lack of cleanliness. But the situation was still under control, she felt.

Incidence of dengue has risen dramatically around the world in recent decades. An estimated 3.9 billion people in 128 countries are at the risk of dengue infection, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Globally, the number of cases reported increased from 2.2 million in 2010 to 3.34 million in 2016.

Severe dengue was first recognised in the 1950s during dengue epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand. However, cases of dengue were detected in Bangladesh in 2000; as of now, more than 50,176 people have suffered from the fever, with about 296 deaths reported.

Meanwhile, on Friday, home minister Asaduzzzaman Khan said that, at present, dengue is the most severe mosquito-borne disease. The government would do everything possible to eliminate dengue virus-carrying Aedes mosquitoes.

“Besides, public awareness about this matter must be increased,” he said.

The home minister said everybody should be aware of their individual roles to put an end to the mosquito menace. “Aedes mosquitoes will not survive if we keep our surroundings clean,” he observed.

Meanwhile, the two Dhaka city corporations have taken several initiatives to prevent dengue. Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has opened a hotline (09611000999) for Dhaka south city residents in order to provide primary healthcare support.

Besides, on July 15, the city authority launched 15 days-long a free diagnosis programme for possible dengue patients.

 

 

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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.

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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