Dengue outbreak: Need necessary steps

Besides capital Dhaka, which was already overflowing with record number of patients sick with dengue, the mosquito-borne disease was fast spreading alarmingly in other parts of the country, health officials said Friday.

Sanya Tahmina, director of Communicable Disease Control unit of the DGHS, said that the disease spread across the country as many dengue patients had traveled to those areas amid an epidemic that hit capital Dhaka the hardest.

On the other hand, doctors and medical stuffs are worried whether they will get any vacation or not. They are working their level best to help affected patients. Dr. Forhad Monjur said, though the government has already fixed the price of the dengue tests but they are not providing any devices or kits to test dengue properly.

AS a result in many hospitals and diagnostics centers are testing dengue by using low quality kits. He also requested the journalists not to provide wrong information regarding the treatment of doctors rather spread the consciousness which will be good for the people. Doctors are trying their level best to help people around the country.

Experts are worried that dengue outbreak may continue until October or until the end of November.

They said the risk would remain unless the authorities concerned as well as the people take all-out measures to combat Aedes mosquitoes now.

The Director General of Health Services (DGHS) data show that the months between July and October over the last five years were always in the top three spots in terms of reported dengue cases.

In 2017, the third highest dengue cases were recorded in November.

It is clear that serious risk of dengue remains over this period, the experts said.

At least 13,182 people were infected in last month while dengue infection count of an entire year never crossed the 11,000 mark in the last 18 years.

Observing the trend is important for early preparations but evidence-based early decision making is hardly seen in Bangladesh, said former director of Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Prof Mahmudur Rahman.

“It was learnt in May last year that adulticides used for killing mosquitoes were not working and its cumulative effect has come this year,” he said.

Prof Mahmudur said the number of Aedes mosquitoes found increased every year before but this year, all records were broken.

“Aedes mosquitoes breed in relatively clean water in and outside houses so we have to focus on those places.”

Since there is no effective insecticide, priority must be given on other methods, like destroying the breeding grounds, Prof Mahmudur said.

Micro planning like forming volunteer groups at local levels to encourage households to destroy the breeding grounds inside houses is important, he said, adding that city corporations would have to destroy the breeding grounds outside the houses.

Building awareness is very important, he said, adding, “If we fail to destroy the transmission chain, the situation will not improve … . “

Dengue patients must be kept under mosquito nets, he said.

Echoing him, Prof Kabirul Basar of Jahangirnagar University said community-based drives to destroy containers or pots where Aedes mosquitoes breed are important.

“We should not depend on city corporations entirely … community leaders will have to take initiatives and purchase fumigators and sprays to destroy the mosquitoes and keep their own areas mosquito free,” the entomologist said.

Without community drives, the situation would be hard to handle, he said.