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Dengue spreads across country

A record 1,096 cases have been reported in the 24 hours

WT24 Desk

Dengue fever that has taken a heavy toll on public health this year in Dhaka has spread almost all over Bangladesh with the authorities finding patients from the mosquito-borne viral disease in 50 districts, Agencies report.

Most of the patients are believed to have travelled from the capital, the epicentre of the outbreak, but authorities do not rule out local infections since a rural variety of dengue mosquito is prevalent outside Dhaka.

The health department reported a record 1,096 cases in the 24 hours to Monday morning, indicating that the number of cases continue to rise as it was 824 on Sunday and 683 on Saturday.  

Dengue causes flu-like symptoms, including piercing headaches, muscle and joint pains, fever and full body rashes. But this year it shows “atypical” symptoms affecting brain, heart, and liver.

The number of patients diagnosed with dengue fever this year has reached an all-time high.

Searching for and destroying mosquito breeding places, use of mosquito net as well as repellents, and seeking early consultation when the first signs and symptoms of the disease apear are the most effective ways to prevent and cure dengue.

Dengue is mostly caused by Aedes aegypti mosquito which is prevalent in Dhaka city.

“Aedes albopictus mosquito can also cause dengue,” Dr ASM Alamgir, a senior scientist at the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control And Research or IEDCR, told this correspondent. “This type of mosquito is prevalent in districts outside Dhaka as well.”

“So, if this mosquito bites a dengue patient who travelled from Dhaka, then the disease can spread in those areas,” he said, suggesting treatment of patients inside mosquito net.

An analysis of the data reveals that men and women in 15 years to 25 years age group are the worst hit, followed by people aged between 25 and 35, and 5 years and 15 years. It means people with active age group are the most affected, causing economic impacts due to hospitalisation.

Former director of IEDCR Prof Mahmudur Rahman sees the situation “a cause for concern”.

“We have seen the presence of dengue outside Dhaka even before. But this year it just flared up,” he told this correspondent, adding that due to urbanisation Aedes aegypti  mosquito can be found in Upazilas as well.

“Aegypti is more virulent than albopictus,” he said.

Proper documentation of changes in the clinical features of the disease is “crucial”, he added.

“Now all doctors across Bangladesh need to know the latest changes in signs and symptoms when the changes in blood occur.”

“We should also keep in mind that if we kill all mosquitos today, the impact might be felt after seven days,” he said, as the incubation period of dengue is between two and seven days.

Doctors suggest taking rest and plenty of fluids such as oral saline, coconut water, juices in fever. Medicines other than paracetamol are restricted without the doctor’s advice.

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