Dengue Outbreak: It’s now worse outside Dhaka
The number of hospitalised dengue patients yesterday was around three times higher outside Dhaka than in Dhaka.
According to Directorate General of Health Services, 619 patients were admitted to hospitals across the country in the last 24 hours till 8:00am yesterday. Of them, 456 were outside Dhaka and 163 in Dhaka.
DGHS data shows 81,186 patients -- 44,986 in Dhaka and 36,200 outside Dhaka -- were hospitalised across the country this year. Some 2,546 patients are now undergoing treatment. Of them, 1,033 are in Dhaka and 1,513 outside Dhaka.
The unofficial death toll from the disease is now 148. However, the official figure is 60.
Though Aedes aegypti has been primarily associated with dengue fever, experts think that another type of Aedes mosquito might be a reason for the spread of dengue outside Dhaka.
A survey of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) being conducted since last month has found the presence of Aedes albopictus outside Dhaka.
Experts say reports of a growing number of dengue cases outside Dhaka indicate that their suspicion regarding the secondary vector is likely true. They recommended carrying out an extensive survey and taking action accordingly.
Aedes albopictus -- also called the Asian tiger mosquito -- is a small, dark mosquito with a white dorsal stripe and banded legs. It can transmit the virus that causes dengue fever. It lays eggs on the inner sides of water-holding containers in urban, suburban, and rural areas as well as the edges of forested areas, and is closely associated with vegetated areas. Larvae can also be found in natural habitats such as tree holes and hollow bamboo stumps.
Prof Kabirul Bashar, entomologist at Jahangirnagar University, said it is now a matter of concern as albopictus is tough to control.
Albopictus lays eggs in natural containers like tree holes, leaf axils and bamboo stumps, he said, adding that those breeding places will have to be destroyed.
“We have to set up a target and take necessary measures to control albopictus.”