15 die, 5,265 infected this year
Dengue infection has taken an alarming turn in the capital as thousands of people are contracting the mosquito-borne viral disease even though the rainy season, when the menace peaks, is over.
Dengue has so far killed 15 people as of September this year, the highest in a year in the last 15 years since 2003.
The incidence of dengue infection reaches 5,265 as of Wednesday, the second highest in 15 years, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.
In September only, the DGHS recorded 2,349 dengue patients’ admission to hospital as of Wednesday.
Doctors have said that the situation is alarming and they are concerned that the nature and symptoms of dengue are also a bit different this year.
‘The situation is very much alarming,’ says Dhaka Medical College principal and dengue expert Abul Kalam Azad Khan.
‘We have noticed that unlike previous years, dengue patients are showing different symptoms like diarrhoea, sudden damages of kidney and liver this year,’ he tells New Age.
Dengue patients usually show symptoms like high fever, rash, bleeding in stool, gum and nose, he mentions.
National Health Crisis Management Centre and Control Room of Directorate General of Health Services recorded 5,265 dengue patients who were admitted to different hospitals this year and 15 of them died.
In September as of Wednesday, at least 2,349 dengue patients were admitted to different hospitals in Dhaka and two of them died, the DGHS record shows.
Besides, six dengue patients died in August, four in July and three in June.
Besides, 1,666 dengue patients were hospitalised in August, 887 in July, 278 in June, 35 in May, 14 in April, five in March, seven in February and 26 in January.
Officials guess that the actual number of dengue patients will be far higher than the recorded number as many cases remain unreported by the families and hospitals.
National Health Crisis Management Centre officials say that the dengue patients are mostly recorded in Dhaka South City Corporation area.
On Wednesday, at least 253 patients were admitted to hospitals with dengue and of them, 62 were at Mitford Hospital in old Dhaka, 19 at Islami Bank Hospital in Motijheel and 16 at Square Hospital at Panthapath and 10 at Central Hospital at Green Road.
Dengue has been causing widespread concerns among the capital’s residents as they fear contracting the disease anytime.
They blame absence of city corporations’ mosquito control drive while the officials blame residents for their apathy for destroying mosquito habitats in and around their households for the high incidence of dengue this year.
Last year, when there was hardly a family in the capital which did not have dengue or chikungunya patients, the two city corporations in Dhaka, failing to control mosquitos, had arranged prayers at mosques seeking divine intervention to protect the capital’s inhabitants.
A survey, conducted by Health Services’ disease control wing in late February,
found that Aedes mosquitos, the carriers of the viruses that cause dengue, spread alarmingly well ahead of the advent of the rainy season.
The survey found a high presence of Aedes mosquitos in 19 localities of the capital, Health Services’ disease control director Sanya Tahman told New Age.
Banani, Bashundhara Residential Area, Gabtali, Moghbazar, Malibagh, Mirpur-1, Mohakhali DOHS, Nakhalpara, East Shewrapara, Tolarbagh and Sector 9 of Uttara in Dhaka north city and Dhanmondi, Elephant Road, Gulbagh, Kalabagan, Meradia, Minto Road, Baily Road and Shantinagar in Dhaka south city had alarming presence of Aedes mosquitoes.
Sanya said that the two city corporations had been cautioned time and again that unless they took steps to control the mosquitos, the menace would grow.
She, however, refrained from saying if the dengue situation was alarming now.
When asked, Dhaka south city chief health officer Brigadier General Sheikh Salauddin said that the prevalence of mosquitoes was low now.
He said DSCC took adequate mosquito control measure but it was the residents who took hardly any care to destroy the mosquito habitats in and around their houses.
Salauddin said they formed teams at each ward for public awareness about Aedes but that was not working.
Aedes mosquito lives in urban habitats and breeds mostly in man-made clean water-filled containers like giveaway cans, pots, cups, flower tubs, coconut shells and tyres in and around households.
Unlike other mosquitoes, Aedes feeds in the daytime. Its peak biting period is two hours after sunrise and two hours before dusk.
Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research director Meerjady Sabrina Flora says they
are expecting that the
dengue incidents will fall after September as the peak time of dengue is the rainy season, which is over now.
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