‘Dengue menace may spiral out of control’
In July, the number of dengue cases was double than that of June, showing signs that the situation might get out of hand.
The dengue death toll was only one in June, but it rose to 10 in July, according to data of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Experts have urged all city corporations to take immediate measures to control Aedes mosquitoes, otherwise the virus may further proliferate in August.
According to DGHS, the number of dengue cases was 737 in June and 1,571 in July.
DGHS data shows that in 2019, 16,253 cases were recorded in July, 2,286 in the same month in 2021, and 23 in 2020.
Entomologist Monzur A Chowdhury said though the number of dengue cases this year is 1,571, actual number would be more than that as many cases remain unreported as the DGHS received data of only 47 hospitals (both government and private) in Dhaka.
Many patients do not get tested even after suffering from fever or do not get admitted to hospitals, for which they are not counted in the list, he said.
He, however, said that although cases are increasing, the situation will not get to an alarming stage, as people's movement is still somewhat restricted due to Covid, and many do not go outside after getting a fever.
People will have to be vigilant about destroying Aedes breeding grounds and use insecticide twice a day in their homes, he explained.
Children will have to wear clothes that cover hands and legs, so that Aedes mosquitoes cannot bite them. School authorities will have to change the dress code to introduce covering clothes, he said.
According to DGHS data, among the 10 dengue deaths, six occurred in Cox's Bazar.
Entomologist of Jahangirnagar University Prof Kabirul Bashar said they earlier predicted that dengue cases will be high in July and August, and so, authorities will have to take necessary measures.
It is certain that the number of cases will remain high in August, he added
Hotspot management is crucial to control Aedes mosquitoes. This means authorities will have to collect addresses of dengue patients from hospitals and identify dengue-prone areas, he said.
Even in areas where dengue cases are low, both authorities and residents will have to take steps to destroy mosquito breeding grounds, he explained.
At an inter-ministerial meeting last week, Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Md Tazul Islam said Bangladesh's success rate for controlling dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases is top among Asian countries.
The minister said from January to June, the number of dengue cases in Singapore was 13,000, in Malaysia 18,884, Indonesia 45,387, Thailand 5,196, the Philippines 51,622, and India 10,172.
However, Bangladesh saw 2,305 cases till July 26, which is the result of collective efforts, he claimed.