The country’s dengue situation, which has turned alarming again this year after a lull last year, may linger until November, say health experts.
“The country is now in its peak dengue season when cases and deaths from the disease usually rise. However, it depends on people’s activities as to which turn it takes,” Prof Dr Tahmina Shirin, director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told the Daily Sun.
However, Dr ASM Alamgir, principal scientific officer of the IEDCR, said if rain does not continue, there will be no dengue. “Dengue cases may start declining at the end of the next month (September),” he said.
He underscored the need for public awareness to prevent dengue fever.
The country’s dengue situation is worsening day by day since the last month as 8,041 dengue patients were hospitalised this year.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 291 more dengue patients were taken to hospitals across the country in the last 24 hours till Sunday morning. Of them, 259 were in the capital alone while 32 outside the capital.
A total of 5,383 dengue patients were hospitalised in only 22 days of the current month of August till Sunday while 2,286 in July, 272 in June, 43 in May, three in April, 13 in March, nine in February and 32 in January, the DGHS data shows.
A total of 1,131 people diagnosed with dengue were now receiving treatment at 41 government and private hospitals in Dhaka while 87 outside the capital, the DGHS said.
However, unofficial sources said at least 40 people have so far died of dengue disease in the country this year.
According to the DGHS, 1,405 dengue cases were detected across the country from January 1 to December 31, 2020. The IEDCR confirmed seven deaths from dengue last year.
Over 1 lakh dengue patients were hospitalised and around 179 people died of the mosquito-borne disease in the country in 2019.
Speaking at the DGHS health bulletin on Sunday, its spokesperson Dr Nazmul Islam said though the number of dengue patients in August is not high but the number of deaths is high. “If the authorities concerned like the local government units strengthen their activities, we hope the situation will remain under control,” he said.
The DGHS sources said the government has already designated six hospitals -- Sir Salimullah Medical College (Mitford) Hospital, Aminbazar Hospital, Kamrangirchar Hospital, Kamalapur Railway Hospital, Maternity and Child Hospital at Lalkuthi in Mirpur and Shaheed Ahsan Ullah Master General Hospital in Tongi on the outskirts of the capital -- for the treatment of dengue patients.
“The dengue patients can be admitted to all the government hospitals across the country, including in Dhaka, as dengue units have been opened in all public hospitals across the country,” an official of the DGHS said.
Meanwhile, the DGHS monsoon survey report said the multi-storey buildings and single buildings are mainly responsible for reproduction of Aedes mosquito in the capital.
Dr Afsana Alamgir Khan, deputy programme manager of National Malaria Elimination and Aedes Transmitted Diseases Control Programme, disclosed the information at a Dissemination Workshop on Monsoon Aedes Survey-2021and Current Situation of Dengue held virtually on Sunday.
Five wards under Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) identified as more prone to higher reproduction of Aedes mosquito are 11, 14, 17, 20 and 35 while 2, 3, 18, 19 and 39 under Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC)
In the 10-day survey titled “Monsoon Aedes Survey-2021” conducted from July 29 in 100 areas of 98 wards in the capital, the DGHS found that multi-storey buildings and single buildings account for around 66 percent of the city’s breeding grounds for Aedes mosquito.
The highest Breteau Index (BI) of 56.7 was found in Moghbazar and New Eskaton areas of ward 35 under the DNCC. On the other hand, the BI of 73.3 was found in Basabo and Goran areas of ward 2 while BI of 66.7 in Elephant Road and Science Laboratory areas of ward 18 under the DSCC.
The survey found that 44.02 percent breeding grounds for Aedes mosquito are in high rises, whereas the figure for single buildings is 25.0 percent and 19.1 percent in under-construction buildings and in slum areas the figure is 9.7 percent.
Among the positive containers of the Aedes mosquito, stagnant floor water constitutes 18.05 percent, plastic drum 12.01 percent, plastic bucket 12.01 percent, abandoned plastic tyre 7.5 percent, flower base and tray 9.4 percent and painting pot 6.6 percent.