The Denv-3 variant of the dengue virus is dominant in Bangladesh now and contracting the strain after a previous infection could be fatal, researchers warn.
The Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research or BCSIR published the analysis of the virus’ genome sequencing from samples from 20 patients on Sunday, saying all of them were infected with Denv-3.
“As we don’t have in-depth study into dengue’s mutation, we are unable to identify the impact of the mutated virus,” said BCSIR Chairman Professor Aftab Ali Khan.
“We need to carry out more genome sequencing to project the spread of dengue across the country,” he said and added discerning the life cycle of the virus will contribute to unravelling how the disease can be treated easily, according to bdnews24.com.
The re-emergence of dengue in July this year with 41 fatalities due to the mosquito-borne disease amid the coronavirus pandemic is a cause for huge concern. More than 9,500 patients were hospitalised with dengue fever this year.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services, more than 100,000 people were hospitalised with dengue in the country in 2019. The government’s disease control agency IEDCR confirmed 148 deaths were caused by dengue after reviewing 266 fatalities that year.
The dengue wreaked comparatively less havoc last year amid the pandemic.
The Denv-3 variant causes serotype 3 infection, which leads to rapid fall in patient’s bold platelet count.
Besides mosquito bite, dengue can spread through breast milk and blood transfusion, recent studies suggest.
Saif Ullah Munsi, chief of virology department of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, hoped the BCSIR’s genome sequencing protocol will be useful to develop a vaccine in the future.
He said Denv-3 is attacking those who had previously contracted Denv-1 or Denv-2 variants.
Those who were infected by Denv-1 or Denv-2 before are showing symptoms that include bleeding, blood clotting, abdominal pain and bloating if they catch Denv-3, he said.
Immunity remains around one year after recovering from the disease, according to him.
He added that among the four variants of dengue, Denv-1 and Denv-4 are more potent.