The number of dengue patients in the first week of this August alone has exceeded the total number of dengue patients last year.
As many as 15,879 people were hospitalized in the last seven days alone this month.
Bangladesh witnessed a big upsurge in the mosquito-borne disease in 2018 with a total of 10,148 patients. However, the first week this August saw a 56 percent rise of the viral infection compared to that in the same period last year.
The number of deaths is also on the rise as dengue claimed at least 25 lives during the week. According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) control room, currently 8707 people diagnosed with the disease are undergoing treatment at medical facilities across the country.
As many as 2428 people have been hospitalized in the last 24 hours after being infected with the mosquito-borne disease.
Meantime, statistics show that 32,340 people were treated after being infected with the disease since January this year. Though the government says that 23 people have died of dengue fever this year, media reports say the number is more than 90.
The country typically sees a dengue outbreak in May and June, and this intensifies in August-September. The pattern is a cause of panic for doctors who fear an increase in cases in upcoming days.
Expressing concern, Prof Meerzady Sabrina Flora, the director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), emphasized the need to destroy the breeding grounds of the Aedes mosquito — the vector of dengue fever.
“More than 15,000 infected in a single week — it’s alarming.”
155pc rise in dengue patients outside Dhaka
The number of infected people is increasing steeply even outside the capital. DGHS data shows the number jumped to a 155 percent high in a week. August began with a total of 3,464 patients outside of the capital, and this number increased to 8,854 on August 7.
According to government statistics, nearly 486 fresh cases are added every day to the existing number in the districts. As many as 3,318 patients were hospitalized from 8:00am on Tuesday to 8:00am on Wednesday. 24 hours earlier this figure was 2832.
Meantime, Dhaka residents have started leaving the capital to celebrate Eid at their ancestral homes. Doctors now fear that the exodus may help dengue take a deadly turn in the district level.
Director general of DGHS Abul Kalam Azad said the total number of dengue patients in Dhaka may drop during the rush, which is likely to add to the infected number outside of the metropolis.
“Special measures have been taken to tackle the situation. The ports of entry have also been kept on alert,” the director general of DGHS said.
He said the government has also made special arrangements outside Dhaka. “Help desks at all government and non-government hospitals will remain open during the Eid holidays. There will be monitoring teams at the field level around the clock.”
DGHS’s recommendations for homebound people
The DGHS has issued some recommendations for Eid holidaymakers. It asked Dhaka residents to make sure that no water accumulates around their offices, homes, or in neighbouring areas while they are away.