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Sultry summer causing diarrhoea, cholera

Around 900 patients-35pc children-taking treatment daily in ICDDR,B

Published : Sunday, 21 April, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1189

Diarrhoea and cholera patients, both adults and children, crowd the ICDDR,B for admission on Saturday as the sultry weather over the country has caused hundreds of people to become sick with gastrointestinal problems.	photo: Observer

Diarrhoea and cholera patients, both adults and children, crowd the ICDDR,B for admission on Saturday as the sultry weather over the country has caused hundreds of people to become sick with gastrointestinal problems. photo: Observer

The number of diarrhoea and cholera patients is increasing day by day in the capital city with the arrival of summer and unwanted pre-monsoon sultry weather in the country.
The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) have been recording around 850 to 900 diarrhoea and cholera patient every day on an average. Staring from 700 every day at the very beginning of this month of April, the number has now reached at 900.
According to the data of ICDDR,B Hospital of Dhaka, in the first 18 days of April a total of 14,203 patients have received treatment from the hospital. Average of diarrhea and cholera infected patients has increased at around 800 every day this month while it was only 504.
According to experts, this rise in diarrhoea cases has increased mainly due to consumption of unsafe water and food. Mainly the adult persons have been facing the disease during the recent heat wave while a good number of children are also the victim of this disease.
According to experts, normally the food-borne diseases increase during the summer, as food-borne bacteria grows fastest at temperatures between 32° to 43° Celsius. During the summer months, the warmer temperatures and higher humidity are ideal for bacterial growth.
In Dhaka, the highest temperature was 34°C on Saturday, while according to the office of Bangladesh Meteorological Department in Dhaka claimed that the capital on Friday recorded the highest temperature of the month - 35.4°C. Last year, highest temperature in April was 36.5°C.
ICDDR,B Chief Physician Dr Azharul Islam Khan, also head of the hospital, told the Daily Observer at Saturday evening that the number of diarrhoea patients is increasing every day this year compared to last year.
On an average 850 to 900 patients are taking treatments in the specialized hospital recently. The number was around 700 at the beginning of this month while it was only 500 in the earlier months. The number of patients is increasing due to warmer weather and unsafe food and water.
The rise in temperature recently is too high. Due to the warm temperature, the children usually stay inside the houses. As a result, the number children patient is comparatively less than the adult persons. Around 65 per cent patients are adult this year while rests 35 per cent are children.
He said that the patients were mainly coming from the city's Mohammadpur, Mirpur, Dakkhin Khan, Badda, Tejgaon, Khilgaon, Jatrabari and Lalbagh areas.
Dr Azhar said an additional tent was set up on the hospital premises around two weeks ago to accommodate additional patients, which increased their capacity to 923 patients from 675. They would further enhance the capacity if needed.
He opined that most of the city areas are facing shortage of water supply. Due to supply of inadequate and unsafe water in the city areas diarrhoea cases might have seen a rise. The people with diarrhoea symptoms must take oral saline and visit the nearest hospital at the earliest if the condition deteriorates, he advised.
He also suggested that breastfeeding mothers should feed their babies properly and take fresh food and water to avoid getting diarrhoea.
However, the Dhaka WASA officials rejected the allegation of supplying unsafe water to the city people.
They claimed that there are no coliform or fecal coliform bacteria in WASA water. The authority is providing 100 per cent safe drinking water. These bacteria, which are responsible for diarrhoea, can grow in water reservoirs of the buildings if those are not cleaned for long. While visiting the ICDDR,B on Saturday, most of the patients were found to be adults from lower and middle income groups. They were receiving treatments. However, some children are also found in the hospital. The physicians were found busy with the patients. However, no news of death in the disease this year is recorded in the hospital.

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