Double blow from deadly diseases
Fifty-three-year old Anisur Rahman has been suffering from fever for the last few days. He also had cough, muscle pain and breathing complications.
Rahman's daughter, who is a final-year medical student at a private medical college, suspected that her father may be infected with coronavirus.
"I took my father to a private hospital. His samples were tested for both coronavirus and dengue and he was found positive [for both]," Rahman's daughter, wishing not to be named, told The Daily Star yesterday.
"My father, who is in a critical condition, is now in the ICU at a private hospital. We are trying to shift him to Mugda General Hospital," she said.
Health experts' fears of a simultaneous outbreak of dengue and coronavirus seem to be coming true.
Experts opine the recovery battle for patients infected with both the diseases -- considered life threatening -- could be difficult.
As of today, 331 dengue patients have been admitted to different hospitals across the country. Of them, 264 are from Dhaka and 67 elsewhere, according to Directorate General of Health Services data.
Last year, 1,01,354 dengue cases were reported and of them 49,544 were reported from outside Dhaka. The number of deaths from dengue was 179 that year.
"It's a double blow. Both coronavirus and dengue are complicated. We have had a bitter experience with dengue last year," Dr ABM Abdullah, personal physician of the prime minister, told The Daily Star.
"If coronavirus is added to dengue, the situation will be further alarming," Dr Abdullah added.
He also urged for utmost caution to fight both the diseases.
On the coronavirus front, since the first case was reported on March 8, the death toll has risen to 283. And the number of total infections stood at 18,863 till yesterday.
Dr Shahnila Ferdousi, line director of Centre for Disease Control at DGHS, said Anisur Rahman's case is likely the first case with both coronavirus and dengue in the country.
She, however, said people should not worry. "If fever is under control and the patient has no coughing or breathing complications then they should rest and stay hydrated in the confines of their house," she said.
But she did patients should seek medical help if they have breathing difficulties.
DGHS is campaigning to raise awareness on dengue and coronavirus infections.