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13 July, 2019 12:33:11 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 13 July, 2019 12:57:30 PM

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Intermittent rains may cause dengue spread

MD HABIBULLA, Dhaka
Intermittent rains may cause dengue spread

Dengue may spread further across the capital due to intermittent rain and raise the number of patients, say doctors. They warn that the situation may aggravate it the rain was to continue unabated.

This year’s pre-monsoon rainfall has caused an increase in the number of dengue patients compared to last year’s. The disease has assumed serious proportions. More people could be affected if preventive measures are not taken immediately, according to the doctors. Insecticides being used to kill mosquitoes are turning out to be less effective, they say.

The doctors urge people to keep their homes and surroundings clean so that Aedes mosquitoes, carrier of the dengue virus, cannot breed.

“This year, dengue cases were reported very early because of the pre-monsoon rain. There is a possibility that dengue could spread due to the rain in the last couple of days,” Dr Ayesha Akhter, in-charge of the disease control room at the Directorate of Health, yesterday told The Independent.

She, however, urged people not to panic.

Dr Ayesha Akhter advised people to visit the doctor a day after having fever.

People should take rest and drink plenty of fluids even after recovery as their health could deteriorate, she added.

“Dengue can spread more due to the rain. As we cannot stop the rain, we have to use another way to get rid of the problem,” Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told The Independent.

She said surroundings have to be kept clean so that mosquitoes do not breed. Water should not accumulate in unused flowerpots, bottles,

plastic bags and tyres. Till now, 3,694 dengue patients have been admitted to hospitals and 2,766 of them were released after receiving treatment. Three, including a doctor, have died, according to the data provided by the DGHS.

In all, 1,619 dengue patients have been admitted to various city hospitals in the current month.  

To handle the extra pressure of dengue patients, several hospitals of the capital have opened special units. Besides, the DGHS has been routinely conducting training programme on dengue, said Dr Ayesha.  

The doctors say the first dengue fever attack weakens the human immune system. So, it takes a long time to recover if dengue strikes a second time.

If city dwellers are not alert and do not take preventive measures, they might be down with dengue, the doctors add.

In 2014, 375 dengue patients were hospitalised, while the number increased significantly to 3,162 in 2015. The number doubled to 6,060 in 2016, while the number was down to 2,769 in 2017. In 2018, the number of dengue patients increased to 10,148, according to the DGHS data.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical viral disease. Typically, symptoms like fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pain and skin rash start to show three to 14 days after infection from mosquito bite.

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 suffered from the fever, with about 296 deaths reported.  

Prof. Sania Tahmina, director (disease control unit) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told The Independent that the number of patients has increased from that of the previous years because of the rainfall. But the situation is still under control.

“As there is no vaccine for dengue, we have to do the treatment by identifying the symptoms,” she said.

Dr Abul Kalam Azad, director general of the DGHS, requested people to seek medical assistance if they had fever.

“Consult a doctor and undergo tests to ascertain whether you’re suffering from dengue,” he advised.

MK

 

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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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