2019 sees second highest number of patients diagnosed in 19 years
The dengue outbreak in the country reached a record high on Tuesday, with at least 473 patients getting hospitalized in 24 hours.
An 18-month-old boy died from dengue in Dhaka on Tuesday, but the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) is yet to confirm the death as a dengue casualty.
According to the DGHS data, between January 1 and July 23 this year, at least 7,766 people were admitted in hospitals after getting infected by the dengue virus. This is the second highest number of dengue patients diagnosed in 19 years.
Among them, 73% of the total patients or 5,637 were hospitalized in July alone.
Last year, the number was only 1,374 in the first seven months.
With nearly all Dhaka hospitals struggling to cope with the increasing flow of dengue patients, the mayors of two Dhaka city corporations maintain that the situation is “under control.”
Also Read- Step up the fight against dengue
Data compiled by the Health Emergency Operation Centre, and Control Room of the DGHS says 1,823 patients are currently undergoing treatment for dengue.
Officials, however, said the numbers will be much higher as many cases remain unreported.
Dengue, a mosquito-borne virus, spreads among humans when an infected Aedes mosquito bites them. It has no known cure or vaccine yet.
Although the government data says only five people have so far been killed from the virus, the unofficial tally of reported deaths stands at 27 as of Tuesday.
Soumya Bishwash, a 18-month-old child, died from dengue fever at the Universal Medical College Hospital in Dhaka.
Confirming the matter, the hospital’s managing director, Dr Ashish Kumar Chakraborty, said the child was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, and was undergoing treatment at the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, but died on Tuesday morning as his condition got critical.
“He was suffering from shock syndrome – where the patients do not have blood pressure, and that leads to shutting down of many organs. He was suffering from pulmonary haemorrhage – acute bleeding from the lungs,” he added.
Also Read- Pitting mosquitoes against mosquitoes
This is the fourth death from dengue in this hospital alone, but the case has not been recorded in the government statistics.
On Sunday, Habignaj civil surgeon Dr Sahadat Hossain died from dengue fever at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital in Dhaka.
This case was also not included in the DGHS data.
Doctors say the country is experiencing a worse-than-usual attack of the potentially deadly dengue fever this year, as the pattern of the symptoms are changing.
Previously, high fever, rashes, and vomiting were considered to be the symptoms. Now, the disease is showing new symptoms like upset stomach, pneumonia, and renal failure.
Areas with stagnant water, plastic and metal buckets, discarded tyres, plastic mugs, and drums, flower tubs, clay and paint pots, and water tanks left open and uncovered are breeding grounds for mosquitoes in Dhaka.
A High Court bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Shohrawardi on Monday expressed dissatisfaction on the steps taken for preventing dengue outbreak in Dhaka, and asked the chief health officials of both city corporations to appear before it tomorrow.
Dr Edwin Salvador, acting representative of World Health Organization (WHO) in Dhaka, has also termed the dengue outbreak in Bangladesh as alarming.
The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) is set to introduce a call centre today to provide healthcare consultation to people affected by dengue, and chikungunya.
People can call at +8801932665544, and can get advice from doctors on the diseases, for 24 hours every day. l