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The ins and outs of dengue

  • Published at 11:03 pm August 16th, 2019
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A dengue patient receives treatment at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital in Dhaka Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Awareness is more essential to fight this dengue epidemic than medical intervention

Over the past month or so more, dengue fever has become the second name of fear for Bangladeshis. Data shows that over 30,000 people have been infected with the mosquito-borne disease, the highest in a year in Bangladesh. Many said the number could also be higher as many cases eventually go unreported. 

Last year, the number was 10,148 and this year, we still have to pass the months of August, September, and October -- all months where people could still be infected by dengue according to the previous years’ patterns.

The concern is, given the comparison with the previous years, the mortality rate is also higher this year. To be specific, it is second in number after its first outbreak in Bangladesh back in 2000 when around 5,531 cases were detected and 93 deaths occurred in the whole country. 

This year, people from 61 districts have already been affected with dengue. The only three districts that are yet to be affected by the dengue epidemic include Netrokona, Joypurhat, and Meherpur.

When to consult a doctor

There are certain symptoms that can tell you when you should not procrastinate and go to a doctor. These includes instances when you happen to encounter abdominal pain or tenderness, have persistent vomiting, bleed from the gum, feel lethargic or restless, have a headache or joint pain, see visible rashes, experience low blood pressure, or a sudden onset of disorientation.

If any of these symptoms are noticed, in your family members or in yourself or any of your acquaintances, please do not delay. Hurry to the doctor for consultation and follow the procedures laid out by the medical experts diligently.

Prevention

Though in most cases there is no fatality, along with the exponential increase in the occurrences and numbers of dengue affected people, there is naturally a rise in deaths as well. 

Hence, it’s obviously advised to make sure that you don’t get bitten by Aedes mosquitoes. As  prevention is better than cure, there are certain preventive measures you can take.

(a) Ensure that you don’t get bitten by mosquitoes during the daytime because the Aedes mosquito bites during this period rather than at night

(b) You can identify an Aedes mosquito by observing white stripes on their legs, so pay special attention to mosquitoes with this feature 

(c) Make sure that there is no collection of water in your flower tubs, water containers, or AC pans because Aedes mosquitoes lay eggs in clogged clear water, not in the streaming water.

Awareness is more essential to fight this dengue epidemic than medical intervention. Because once you’re affected, there’s nothing much that can be done other than fluid management. 

Md Minhajul Hossain is an MBBS student at Dhaka Medical College.