Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Annisul Huq on Friday said that the city corporations are not to blame for the spread of chikungunya in Dhaka, while experts claimed the mosquito-borne disease had turned into an epidemic.
Speaking at a press conference organised at the DNCC headquarters in Gulshan 2, Mayor Annisul said: “Usually, the city corporation’s department concerned sprays insecticides every five days, to control all types of mosquitoes including the Aedes or chikungunya carrying varieties. However, recently we have been spraying every three days.”
He added that mosquitoes primarily breed in stagnant water on rooftops and other parts of houses, as well as in piles of dumped construction materials.
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“All of the responsibility cannot fall on the city corporations. City dwellers also have to take responsibility to keep their city clean,” the DNCC mayor said.
Annisul also apologised to those affected by chikungunya, stating that a lack of guidelines and warning had made response to the disease in the initial stages impossible.
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Equipped with fogger machines, a pest control team of Dhaka South City Corporation leave the Nagar Bhaban on Friday to start a special mosquito eradication campaign in Dhaka South Mahmud Hossain Opu
Meanwhile at the same press conference, invited experts epidemiologist Dr Mahmudur Rahman and entomologists Dr Towhid Uddin and Dr Munzur A Chowdhury all said they believed that chikungunya fever had become an epidemic in Dhaka.
Dr Mahmudur Rahman defined an epidemic as the rapid spread of an infectious disease to a large group of people in a certain area or region, while saying that he personally believes that chikungunya fits the definition.
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“However, this is just my personal opinion and not the product of research. Authorities concerned remain to declare if they think or research shows that chikungunya is indeed an epidemic,” the epidemiologist added.
Furthermore, Dr Munzur A Chowdhury and Dr Towhid Uddin expressed grave concern that the situation may get out of control if Aedes variety mosquitoes were not contained, as they spread not only chikungunya fever, but also dengue and zika.
Chikungunya fever is caused by the CHIKV virus and spread by infected mosquitoes. Symptoms include fever, joint and muscle pain, headaches, nausea, fatigue and rashes. Death is rare, but not unheard of, with treatment revolving around relieving the symptoms. There is as yet no cure.