Dengue spreads to 57 districts
The government should establish an effective surveillance system to identify dengue hotspots, enabling local government departments, community organisations, and educational institutions to carry out targeted interventions.
In a worrisome development, the deadly dengue fever has rapidly spread its grip across Bangladesh, reaching 57 districts of the country.
At least 11,116 dengue patients have so far been hospitalised till yesterday, of whom 3,217 are from outside Dhaka. Meanwhile, two dengue patients died and 661 were hospitalised in the 24 hours till this morning.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) reported a death toll of 64 dengue patients till yesterday.
As per the DGHS data, all districts, barring Sunamganj, Habiganj, Jhalakathi, Natore, Joypurhat, Chuadanga, and Gopalganj, have reported cases of dengue this year.
According to entomologist GM Saifur Rahman of National University, the absence of surveillance at the district level has been a critical oversight throughout the year, despite its crucial importance.
"The government should establish an effective surveillance system to identify dengue hotspots, enabling local government departments, community organisations, and educational institutions to carry out targeted interventions," he said.
Saifur also highlighted the shared responsibility of both residents and city corporations in maintaining awareness, cleaning houses, and eliminating potential breeding sources to ensure effective source reduction.
Prof Kabirul Bashar of Jahangirnagar University said as dengue continues to spread, the number of cases outside Dhaka will inevitably increase, eventually reaching all districts of Bangladesh.
He emphasised the urgent need for preventive measures to control Aedes mosquitoes, calling on deputy commissioners and city corporations to take immediate action.
He stressed the importance of hotspot management and conducting targeted drives in areas from which dengue patients are originating, highlighting the necessity of eliminating adult mosquitoes as they carry the dengue virus.
Prof Bashar underscored the significance of raising awareness, organising anti-mosquito campaigns, and implementing compulsory measures such as dengue testing, staying indoors under mosquito nets when fever is present, and hospitalising individuals who experience a second infection, as they are more vulnerable.
Additionally, he emphasised that citizens also play a crucial role by remaining vigilant, checking their homes and surroundings weekly for stagnant water sources that could serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
CHATTOGRAM'S DENGUE CRISIS DEEPENS
In response to the escalating dengue outbreak in Chattogram, the Civil Surgeon of the port city, Dr Ilias Chowdhury, has written an urgent letter to the mayor of Chattogram City Corporation, emphasising the immediate need for comprehensive measures to control the spread of dengue.
Dr Chowdhury highlighted the alarming rate at which the number of dengue patients has been increasing during the current monsoon.
The letter disclosed that within the past five days since July 1, 197 dengue cases were detected, resulting in three fatalities.
Dr Chowdhury urged the CCC to take prompt action in destroying Aedes mosquitoes and their larvae while raising public awareness to prevent further outbreaks.
Similar letters were also sent to the DGHS director and the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research to take necessary steps to address the crisis.