Dengue situation worsening

* Patients' number on rise * 'Citizens should be pro-active to fight the disease'

Kamrun Nahar | Published: July 12, 2019 12:18:21 | Updated: July 13, 2019 12:36:03

Dengue situation continues to deteriorate in the city as elsewhere in the country despite repeated assurances by the authorities concerned as well as their various steps to fight the mosquito-borne disease.

According to the control room report of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the number of dengue affected people is on the rise, reaching 1,182 until July 10 this year, while the number was 1,750 in June.

The number of patients was 946 in July last year and 295 in June 2018.

Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) principal scientific officer Dr A S M Alamgir told the FE that there is still lack of personal awareness regarding the disease.

If anyone thinks his fever as dengue, he should go to a laboratory after three days. If the fever continues for five days, the test will be different to detect the disease, he added.

Dr Md Robed Amin, associate professor of medicine at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said this year the number of patients may be the same like last year.

But the serotype has changed in recent times. There are four types of serotypes - den 1, 2, 3 and 4, he added.

"Earlier people used to be infected by serotype 1 and 2. Now the situation is changing. The infection is higher by serotype 3 and 4, which is confirmed by Virology Department of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University."

According to him, DMCH is receiving 15-20 dengue patients daily, and the number was more or less the same last year. But, the number of dengue cases seems to be higher this year, as its reporting has improved since last year.

Meanwhile, there is growing discontent among citizens regarding failure of the city corporations to effectively control mosquito menace in the city.

But chief health officers (CHOs) of both the city corporations claim that they are trying their best to control Aedes mosquito that spreads dengue.

The citizens should be more pro-active to save themselves from the disease, as Aedes mosquito is a household-based insect.

There are some other reasons behind spread of dengue, which they are trying to address. These include presence of a number of construction sites of the government and housing companies across the city that act as mosquito breeding grounds.

Talking to the FE, CHO of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Brig Gen Md Mominur Rahman Mamun said they are continuing their mosquito control activities in full swing.

Additionally they have undertaken crush programmes during the rainy season, as the dengue outbreak takes place from May to October.

Answering why the outbreak is so high this year, he referred to a report of World Health Organisation (WHO) and said global warming and climate change are the major factors behind the dengue outbreak across the world.

Regarding the allegations of using ineffective medicine by the city corporations to control mosquito, he said there is no problem in their larvicides (insecticides that are specifically targeted against the larval life stage of an insect like mosquito).

But resistance has grown among mosquitoes against two of the three components of their adulticides (insecticides targeted against adult mosquito). ICDDR,B is yet to suggest any name to them, he added.

"We cannot avoid our failure to control mosquito, as people are getting affected, and the patients' number is rising day by day. But we are trying our best. We have started crush programme from Saturday."

According to the DNCC CHO, there is still lack of willingness among people to be more careful about dengue despite rise in outbreak.

He also complained that DNCC has sought cooperation from Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) and tyre owners association for clearing their construction sites and removing unused tyres.

But they are yet to receive any response from them, he added.

Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) CHO Brig Gen Sharif Ahmed said that there is no reason for discontent among people, as the agencies concerned are trying their best to control mosquito as well as dengue.

They have their regular mosquito control programme. But they also started a special programme in May, as it is the peak season for spread of Aedes mosquito.

They also started a crush programme from July 01, which will continue until 15 of this month, he also said.

They will establish 476 temporary healthcare centres in the city corporation wards from this month. Over 68 medical teams will give free treatment to dengue patients from these centres, he added.


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