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Dengue outbreak likely to take serious turn: Experts

Published : Wednesday, 3 June, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 317
Banani Mallick

The country has already seen 262 dengue cases after a massive outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease in 2019.
Experts warned that if proper steps are not taken right now dengue outbreak in the month of June might be deadlier than the previous year.
They said the next two months - July and August - and this month would be crucial as the number of patients might go up rapidly.
Considering the situation, the two city corporations of Dhaka - Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) - have taken several measures including identifying most dengue vulnerable points in their respective areas.
In 2019 the government confirmed that dengue had claimed lives of 164 people while 101,354 were hospitalized with dengue in the country.
When contacted, Kabirul Bashar, an entomologist of Jahangirnagar University who conducted a survey on aedes mosquito prevalence in two cities, said as light rain had started occurring since early this month, the scientific prediction model suggesed the number of dengue patients would increase substantially this year than last year if proper steps were not taken right now.
Talking to the Daily Observer, he said 56 people were infected with dengue in January-February last year while 139 dengue patients were identified during the same period this year, indicating the greater density of aedes mosquito in the capital.
However, many experts also noted that a good number of dengue patients were also not visiting hospitals for dengue tests due to fear of coronavirus and that is why the real number of dengue-affected people is still unknown.
Chief Health Officer of Dhaka North City Corporation Brig Gen Mominur Rahman Mamun
said, "The number of dengue-infected people is less compared to last year. The reason may be for Covid-19 pandemic. But our efforts are on to prevent it," he said.
When asked about their measure he said they would conduct door-to-door campaign and awareness raising activities in the vulnerable areas.
He said they had been working since January to control the outbreak of aedes mosquitoes in the rainy season.
However, some experts think that the dengue outbreak would not be so serious this year as many city dwellers had already left Dhaka city.
But Kabirul Bashar, an entomologist of Jahangirnagar University, said the other breeding grounds for aides are there including construction sites, bus terminals and police stations where many seized vehicles are kept in open spaces.
 "The front and backyards of hospitals and various government establishments are the main breeding places of aedes mosquitoes. So we are not out of danger," he said.
Bangladesh experienced a massive dengue outbreak last year. The government confirmed that dengue claimed the lives of 164 people last year while 101,354 were hospitalized with dengue in the country.
According to the DGHS, at least 262 dengue cases have been reported in the country since the beginning of 2020.
In their recent survey, Abul Kalam Azad, Director General (DG) of DGHS, said they found the aedes population at a risky level in 12% of DSCC wards and 10% of DNCC wards.
He said the aedes Breteau Index of Dhaka North City Corporation's wards 1, 12, 16, 28 and 31 and Dhaka South City Corporation's wards 5, 6, 11, 17, 37 and 42 are more than 20 points.
Assessing the survey results, the DG said dengue may badly spread this year if the breeding grounds of the aedes mosquito cannot be destroyed right now.

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