Saturday, December 5, 2020 | ePaper

Alarming increase in dengue patients

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The number of Aedes mosquito-borne dengue fever patients is increasing in the capital during the pandemic. In the last one week, 52 dengue patients have been admitted to different hospitals for treatment. The total number of dengue patients admitted to the hospital this month stands at 121. We witnessed a record number of dengue cases last year, during which at least 164 people died. This year, surprisingly, the mosquito-borne virus has not made any significant impact in the country. The curve of infection rate has been almost lying flat this year compared to the previous year.
Experts said this was the result of Bangladesh learning the hard way in 2019 on how to minimize dengue infection rate. At the same time, both the authorities and the public have become more aware of dengue prevention this year, which resulted in a drastic drop in the cases. According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) data, the death rate from dengue dropped down to zero this year, following an unprecedented rise in deaths recorded in 2019. Bangladesh witnessed a massive dengue outbreak last year when 101,354 people were hospitalized and 101,037 recovered fully. Dengue killed 179 people last year, according to official figures. In contrast, only 575 dengue patients have been admitted to the hospital. 558 people have returned home after recovering from the treatment. In January this year, 199 dengue patients were admitted to the hospital.
The city corporations have been more organized this year and successfully executed its dengue prevention plan. The city corporations are still spraying insecticide even during this pandemic. Travel restriction due to the Covid-19 pandemic also came as a blessing for dengue prevention this year. Public movements were limited in most urban areas due to lockdown. Unlike last year, not too many people from dengue-affected countries managed to enter Bangladesh due to international travel restrictions. The city authorities should now act promptly to flat the dengue patient this year and for that coordinated efforts, including awareness campaign, spraying chemicals, and community mobilization should work.

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