Don’t travel if infected by Dengue''
With Dengue spreading rapidly, health experts fear the virus may intensify with people travelling from cities to home districts for the Eid holidays.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Prof. Dr. Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), advised extreme caution travelling to home districts if diagnosed with dengue fever .
“Aedes mosquitoes might not fly from one city to another but can certainly travel on public transport. We recommend all transport workers spray mosquito insecticide inside their vehicles before heading to another place,” she said.
“People should use mosquito nets and take necessary measures to destroy mosquito habitats,” she suggested.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services, 4,905 people have been infected by the dengue virus since January this year. Currently, 2,524 patients are undergoing treatment for dengue at various hospitals outside Dhaka city.
Dengue patients have been found in all eight divisions of the country, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.
Mahmudur Rahman, former director of the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) told Dhaka Tribune that dengue has already spread outside Dhaka.
“The outbreak might reach other places outside Dhaka with people leaving the capital for Eid. Right now, the real deal is to destroy the breeding grounds of Aedes mosquitoes,” he said.
Hasan Shahriar Kabir, divisional director of Chittagong Health Directorate told Dhaka Tribune, we fear there will be a slight increase in the number of dengue patients as some people might fall prey to the virus because of travel movement during the Eid holidays.
Stock of medical kits
He said they have stocked some extra medical kits in hospitals for dengue patients for the Eid holidays.
“On an average, everyday 100 to 110 dengue patients are being admitted to various hospitals in Chittagong division,” he said.
He said people should consult a registered doctor immediately. If they find any symptoms of dengue before leaving for their holiday destinations, people should conduct tests without doctor recommendations as hospitals and health complexes are already overcrowded with patients.
If the tests show dengue infection, people should not travel, he said.
Dr. Debapada Roy, divisional director of Sylhet, told Dhaka Tribune that in Sylhet, 21 patients on average everyday, are being hospitalized, which is relatively low compared to other divisions.
“It is very difficult to say if the number of dengue patients is going to rise during the holidays. We do not want to see the number of dengue patients rise in our division. However, we cannot really force people not to travel to their homes for the holidays,” he said.
Mohammad Sorowar Hossain, head of the department of Environmental Management of Independent University Bangladesh told Dhaka Tribune, that the dengue virus has an incubation period of two to seven days.
If people travel during that incubation period without knowing they are infected by the virus, he or she will develop a fever later he said, adding that if they develop a fever, they should immediately approach the nearest hospital or upazila health complex.
Health Directorate National Program Manager (Dengue) Dr MM Aktaruzzaman, told Dhaka Tribune, they strongly discourage people travelling with dengue fever.
He said the dengue virus can stay in a human body for six to seven days and if any Aedes mosquito bites that person, the virus gets transmitted to another person by the mosquito.
Dengue patients should also not travel immediately after recovery.
“Usually dengue patients suffer from post viral fatigue following a dengue infection and they need a lot of rest to heal,” he said.
This is why they should not go for long road trips, he said.
He said doctors and nurses in upazila health complexes are being trained to handle dengue patients.