- Dengue so far claimed 45 lives
- 10,041 people infected, with 2,096 outside Dhaka
- Outside capital, dengue patients are now 20%
- Experts urged all to be alert
The prevalence of dengue is rising across the country, along with the capital Dhaka which is considered a hotspot for the mosquito-borne viral disease, thanks to improved communication systems and a lack of effective measures by local authorities.
The disease has so far claimed 45 lives this year, according to the health directorate, while 24 of them are from outside Dhaka.
The number of people infected with dengue is 10,041, with 2,096 cases outside the capital, as of Monday.
In 2016, dengue patients outside Dhaka were only 1%, which is 20% this year. It was 4% in 2017, 0% in 2018, 49% in 2019, 13% in 2020, and 17% in 2021.
"Dengue outbreak is increasing in Dhaka and outside Dhaka. We can provide health care, we are doing it. But prevention is essential," said Professor ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
"There is a mosquito infestation all over the country. The health department, local government ministry, and city corporations need to work together to control dengue," he told The Business Standard.
Experts believe the movement of people from Dhaka to other districts and the carelessness of city corporations and municipalities are the key reasons behind the rise of dengue cases in urban areas outside Dhaka.
Professor of zoology at Jahangirnagar University Kabirul Bashar said the urban authorities are careless about killing mosquitoes. "They don't find out why their programmes are not working effectively to kill mosquitos."
He added that Cox's Bazar has more dengue patients, among other districts, as people frequently move to the Rohingya camps there.
"Hotspot management is essential for dengue control. There are two ways to change the hotspot: not allowing patients to leave the hotspots and running extensive mosquito-killing programmes. But none of these are being done, causing a rise in dengue infections.
Dr ABM Abdullah, emeritus professor and personal physician of the prime minister, told TBS that city corporations, municipalities should take effective initiatives to control mosquitoes.
"If someone is infected with dengue, then they should eat saline and water. No painkillers except paracetamol should be taken. Dengue does not require antibiotics. If the fever is high, it is better to be admitted to the hospital, but most patients with dengue do not need platelets or blood transfusion."
Out of 1529 dengue patients in Chittagong Division, 987 are from Cox's Bazar. 18 dengue patients died in Cox's Bazar this year.
Dr Mahbubur Rahman, Civil Surgeon of Cox's Bazar, told TBS that most of the dengue patients are Rohingya.
"Now, the rate of dengue infection among the host community is also increasing. We have asked the local government department to take measures to kill mosquitoes," he added.