The dengue situation has been worsening day by day in the country while children and pregnant women remain at high risk for the deadly vector-borne disease, experts said.
“We are working to ensure treatment of dengue patients but there is no alternative to destroying adult Aedes mosquito and larvae to control the dengue situation of the country,” Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told the Daily Sun.
According to the DGHS data, already near 11,000 dengue patients were hospitalised and 48 patients died across the country, including in Dhaka, this year till September 2.
It said 625 dengue patients were hospitalised and three died in only two days of September while 7,698 persons were hospitalised and 33 died in August, 2,286 hospitalised and 12 died in July, 272 hospitalised in June, 43 in May, three in April, 13 in March, nine in February and 32 in January this year.
The DGHS said 330 new dengue patients were hospitalised and three died across the country, including in Dhaka, in the last 24 hours till Thursday morning. Of them, 284 were hospitalised in the capital and 46 patients were outside the city.
A total of 1,131 patients diagnosed with dengue are now receiving treatment at 41 government and private hospitals in Dhaka while 131 outside the city, it said.
The DGHS data said of the total 330 dengue patients hospitalised in last 24 hours, eight were zero to one
Talking to the Daily Sun, Prof Dr Nazrul Islam, former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), said: “Dengue is an old problem of our country. The dengue cases have risen in the country again due to negligence of the authority concerned in controlling the dengue vector.”
He said children are most vulnerable to the dengue disease as their immunity is weak and the disease is leading them to death.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection, found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas.
There is no specific treatment for dengue/severe dengue. Early detection of disease progression associated with severe dengue, and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates of severe dengue to below 1 percent, it added.
The health experts said people with low immunity, older, pregnant women and children are at higher risk of the dengue disease.
Children are most vulnerable to the disease because their immune systems are weaker than adults and they tend to play in and outside their homes where there's less protection against the mosquitoes. On the other hand, they also can’t express their symptoms, they added.
The DGHS data said many children were hospitalised with dengue infection at different hospitals across the country, particularly in Dhaka, this year.
Talking to the Daily Sun, Kinkar Ghosh, an epidemiologist at Dhaka Shishu (Children) Hospital, said around 470 children were admitted to the hospital with dengue infection this year till Wednesday while around 245 of them were only in August and 104 in July.
“At least three children admitted with dengue infection died in the hospital this year,” he added.
About preventive measures to protect children from the dengue infection, the experts have suggested using screens on doors and windows. Children should wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks when they go outside, and all should use mosquito nets at night.
They also advised people to keep their houses clean and not to allow stagnant water in any pot or other substances for more than three days in a bid to prevent the dengue disease.
Researchers at Bangladesh Science and Industry Research Council (BCSIR) in genome sequencing have found that the majority of dengue infections in Dhaka this year are the dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3).
Talking to the Daily Sun, Prof Dr Tahmina Shirin, director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), said the dengue situation may linger on until November as the infection rises during rains.