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Study: Youth most vulnerable to dengue

  • Published at 11:43 pm July 30th, 2019
web-dengue- Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital
File photo: Dengue patients at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital as the outbreak continues Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Against every dengue-affected female patient, there are 2.7 male cases

People mostly youth, aged between 16 and 30 years, are facing the maximum risk of being infected with dengue, a new study has revealed. 

Interestingly, young males are most vulnerable to four types of dengue virus, it adds. 

The Virology department of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) disclosed research findings at a discussion on the university premises on Tuesday. 

Dr Prof Saif Ullah Munshi, chairman of the department, presented the findings at the program.

Those infected with the mosquito-borne virus for the second time are actually affected by one or more dengue strains and face 1-5% risk of death, he said.  

The findings were figured out based on the "NS1 antigen" or "nonstructural protein 1" test conducted on 4,067 patients between January and this week (July). Of them, 1,040 were found with positive dengue cases. 

Highest 5% cases of dengue were confirmed till April, with the figure jumping to 14% in May. Shocking, this year’s most cases (41%) were recorded last month, while 27% people were diagnosed with NS1. 

Against every dengue-affected female patient, there are 2.7 male cases, the study said. 

When asked about the key takeaways of the research, Munshi said: "Those aged from 16 to 30 years are being mostly affected. More male patients are being affected as compared to their female counterparts." 

Health officials’ leave scrapped

Amid the growing number of dengue cases, the government in a meeting at the Secretariat on Tuesday decided to cancel the leave of all officials and employees of the Health Directorate.

All officials and employees concerned are also being strongly encouraged to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha holidays in Dhaka, said Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, acting secretary (coordination and reforms) of the Cabinet Division.

“Even those, who are receiving training, have been ordered to join their workplace immediately,” he added. 

Monitoring cell formed

In order to monitor the activities to fight the dengue outbreak, a monitoring cell was formed at the office of Health Minister Zahid Maleque. 

Titled “Minister Monitoring Cell”, it will receive 24x7 complaints of any breach of the government orders regarding medical tests for dengue fever. 

People have been requested to contact over the hotline -- 01314-766069, 01314-766070, 02-47120556, 02-47120557--. One can also e-mail complaints over [email protected]

Dengue situation

Till July 30, there were 4,408 dengue patents hospitalised across the country with the highest 3,561 in Dhaka alone, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

At least eight people died of dengue since January this year, a DGHS estimate says. But the unofficial tally of reported deaths stood at 42 until last morning.

At least 973 new cases of dengue were recorded in Dhaka city in a 24-hour span since Monday afternoon. 

A number of 679 patients, infected with the dengue virus, were undergoing treatment at DMCH till last noon with 221 admitted in the last 24 hours, officials said.

Outside Dhaka, the situation was the worst in the Rajshahi division where 198 patients were hospitalised, followed by 151 in the Khulna division.

Protests, criticism pour in

Terming the fight against the dengue menace an uphill task, former health minister Mohammed Nasim said the mayors of the two city corporations of Dhaka failed to tackle the outbreak.

“The city corporations failed to perform their duty in combating the menace; this is beyond any doubt. But asking them to step down will not help resolve the problem,” he said while visiting the Dhaka Shishu Hospital on Tuesday.

Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) will stage demonstration in front of the Dhaka South City Corporation building on Wednesday morning to protest its failure in controlling the dengue outbreak. Prior to that, the BSD will hold a rally in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka.