Dengue may add to health crisis
Health Minister Zahid Maleque fears that the country may face a new health crisis as the number of dengue patients continues to rise along with Covid cases.
The government is planning to designate hospitals for dengue treatment, considering the current situation, he told journalists yesterday after visiting a field hospital at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
His comments came as at least 105 people with dengue got admitted to hospitals across the country in 24 hours till 8:00am yesterday -- the highest in a single day this year. At least 104 dengue patients were admitted to hospitals in the previous 24 hours.
A total of 1,679 people have so far been diagnosed with dengue this year, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Of them, 1,307 cases were recorded in July, indicating a fast-rising trend in dengue infections. In June, 272 cases were recorded and the number was 43 in May.
The viral disease, spread by Aedes mosquitoes, seems to be largely concentrated in the capital as only 47 cases were reported from outside the city.
Though most of the patients, who were hospitalised, have been released, at least 460 are still undergoing treatment at hospitals in the capital, and six outside it, the DGHS data shows.
The dengue infections are further complicating the Covid situation.
In 24 hours till 8:00am yesterday, 228 people died from the novel coronavirus and 11,291 got infected.
Covid has already claimed at least 19,274 lives and infected 11,64,635 people since the first cases were reported in Bangladesh in March last year.
Prof Md Nazmul Islam, director (Communicable Disease Control) at the DGHS, yesterday called upon all not to neglect dengue and made a request for taking cautionary measures.
In a virtual health bulletin, he said the government has adequate stocks of antigen kits for testing dengue at public medical college hospitals, and district and upazila sadar hospitals.
Tests at public facilities are free now, he said, urging people to go for tests early if there are symptoms of dengue.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection causing a severe flu-like illness. It can be fatal. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the main vector that transmits the virus.
Destroying the breeding grounds, especially places and pots with clean water, is an effective way to fight dengue, experts say.