15 cases recorded daily on average in November, 93% cases in Dhaka
Cases of dengue fever, an Aedes mosquito-borne viral infection, continue to see a rise in November, with 15 people on average being admitted to hospitals daily in the first 11 days of the month.
The number of hospital admissions in these 11 days has already surpassed the total admissions in October.
As many as 165 dengue cases were recorded between November 1 and 11, while 163 cases were recorded in October this year, as data compiled by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) reveal.
Bangladesh also continues to see a record number of hospitalizations related to dengue, with 25 cases — the highest daily case number this year — being recorded on two consecutive days (November 10 and 11), according to data from the Health Emergency Operations Centre and Control Room, DGHS.
Dhaka remains the danger zone
Dhaka residents are the ones at most risk of dengue infections, according to the data.
Of the 165 cases recorded in November, 93% (154) of cases were in Dhaka and only 11 were in other districts.
Since January, 792 patients have been admitted at different hospitals in Dhaka and other districts with dengue fever. Of them, 87.5% (693) of patients were admitted in Dhaka city alone.
Of the total number of cases, 199 were recorded in January, 45 in February, 27 in March, 25 in April, 10 in May, 20 in June, 23 in July, 68 infections and a death in August, 47 infections in September, 163 in October and 165 till November 11.
Currently, 89 dengue patients — 82 in Dhaka city and seven in other districts — are undergoing treatment.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) has so far received information on five deaths and investigated two of them. One of the deaths has been confirmed to be dengue related.
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Bangladesh experienced a massive dengue outbreak in 2019, when 101,354 people were hospitalized. According to the health authorities, the mosquito-borne disease killed 179 people last year.
Notably, the numbers are much lower this year. However, amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic, dengue can still turn out to be a great threat to the people of Bangladesh, especially the residents of Dhaka.
Both the city corporations of Dhaka are taking necessary steps to curb dengue infections, according to officials concerned.
The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has been conducting a 10-day long special mosquito prevention and cleanliness drive in areas under its jurisdiction since November 2.
During this three-hour drive, city corporation teams visit different areas and establishments and spray insecticides. Mobile courts also fine people if Aedes larvae are found in their houses.
Meanwhile, the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) is also conducting mobile court operations when necessary.
Entomologist Kabirul Bashar, a zoology professor at Jahangirnagar University, requested the city corporations to continue their drives and activities throughout the year, instead of just during the mosquito season.
He also stressed the need to involve city dwellers in Aedes mosquito prevention for an effective outcome.
Dr Afsana Alamgir Khan, deputy program manager at the National Malaria Elimination and Aedes Transmitted Diseases Control Programme of DGHS, said dengue testing kits were available at all hospitals across Bangladesh for testing suspects.
All civil surgeons’ offices across Bangladesh were asked to reactivate their dengue corner at different hospitals. They were also instructed to test for dengue and malaria alongside Covid-19 if any patient with a fever sought treatment, she said.
Doctors engaged in private practice were also asked to test for dengue if any of their patients had fever, added Afsana Alamgir.