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Children suffer most as mercury keeps dropping

  • Published at 11:40 pm December 26th, 2019
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A total of 4,499 people, mostly children, received treatment at icddr,b between December 19 and Thursday afternoon Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The number of diarrheal patients is rising every day, with 70%-75% of them being children

The number of patients with different cold-related diseases is not seeing significant drop across Bangladesh, while the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) in Dhaka is tackling the largest flow of patients suffering from Diarrhoea.

The number of diarrheal patients is rising every day, with 70%-75% of them being children, say icddr,b officials. 

The parky weather across the country is also highly affecting the elderly and people from low-income groups. y

A total of 4,499 people took treatment from icddr,b between December 19 and 2pm on Thursday, hospital data showed.

Meanwhile, between Wednesday and Thursday morning, a total of 5,481 people suffering from various cold-related diseases visited public hospitals across the country, according to data released by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

Among them, 888 received treatment for acute respiratory infection; 1,932 for diarrhoea; and 2,661 for other diseases that include fever, jaundice, inflammation in the eye, and skin diseases. 

“People suffer from diarrhoea in general during winter, but children constitutes about three-fourth of the total patients suffering from viral diarrhoea [or rotavirus],” said icddr,b Chief Physician Dr Azharul Islam Khan.

Generally, children suffer the most from diarrhoea in winter than others seasons every year. 

According to Dr Azharul, over 600 patients are being admitted to icddr,b everyday nowadays, against the regular flow of about 350 patients. 

He, however, urged people not to worry much when children are infected with diarrhoea. 

“Just provide them with oral saline. If it is a child below two years, give him/her more time for breast feeding,” he suggested. 

Tetulia shivers at 5.7˚ Celcius 

The lowest temperature of the year was recorded in Panchagarh again, as the mercury plummeted to 5.7˚ Celcius in Tetulia on Thursday morning, said Arif Hossain, a meteorologist at Bangladesh Meteorological Department’s Dhaka office. 

Tetulia, the last border town in Bangladesh’s north, generally experiences extreme cold weather in winter. Temperature had dropped to 6.2˚ Celcius here on Wednesday. 

On January 8 last year, mercury fell to 2.6˚ Celcius in Tetulia, the lowest-ever recorded temperature in the country’s history. 

The temperature will likely remain unchanged for the next few days, said Arif.

However, he said, Bangladesh’s southern part might see a rise in temperature and experience rain.

With the temperature dropping further every day, the weather is hitting the low-income people and day labourers hard, as well as forcing general people to remain indoors.

Locals said many people were suffering as there was not adequate number of warm clothing. 

The local administration so far has distributed 35,000 blankets among the people, while Border Guard Bangladesh and some other organizations also distributed winter clothing. 

But locals said of the affected population of about 250,000, many were yet to receive warm clothing.