The number of dengue patients is increasing in government and private hospitals while one patient has died so far.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 126 dengue patients were hospitalised in January, 20 in both February and March, 23 in April, 163 in May, and 483 till June 22. Of them, 723 are in Dhaka.
Although dengue cases mostly rise between August and September, it started in May this year.
Dr Md Ekramul Haque, programme manager of BAN-MAL and Dengue under the Communicable Disease Control Unit of the DGHS, told The Business Post the number of patients was still much lower than the previous years but the risk of infection was increasing.
“We have sent our survey report to Dhaka’s two city corporations. We have marked red and yellow zones as well as made some recommendations to prevent dengue,” he said.
Officials said almost every building’s basement in the capital or various abandoned pots are now the breeding grounds of Aedes mosquitoes while Aedes larvae are found everywhere, including slums and upscale areas.
As there have been heavy rains recently, there are fears that the density of Aedes mosquitoes may increase further. If no action is taken now, the risk of infections will be so high that it may get out of control.
Dhaka North City Corporation’s Chief Health Officer Brig Gen Md Zobaidur Rahman said dengue infections were very high even in developed countries, including Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.
He said 16,000 to 25,000 cases had already been found in those countries, adding dengue prevalence was high in Southeast Asian countries.
“We are trying to figure out how to control it. We are also working to implement the DGHS recommendations. We are hopeful about controlling it effectively,” he added.
The pre-season survey was conducted for 10 days from March 23 to April 3 in 110 places of 96 wards under both Dhaka city corporations as part of the National Malaria Elimination and ATD Control Program of the DGHS.
It found 94.9 per cent of culex mosquitoes and 5.1 per cent of the Aedes genus were carrying the dengue virus.
Besides, 23.98 per cent of mosquito larvae was found in floor water; 21.64 per cent in plastic drums; 14.04 per cent in plastic buckets; 10.53 per cent in water tanks (cement); 4.09 per cent in flower tubs; 2.34 per cent in metal drums; 2.34 per cent in plastic mugs, pots, and vessels; 2.34 per cent in water tanks (plastic); and 4.09 per cent in other things.
Moreover, 42.11 per cent of the Aedes breeding grounds was found in under-construction buildings, 31.58 per cent in multi-storey buildings, 15.2 per cent in single buildings, 9.94 per cent in semi-detached slum areas, and 1.17 per cent in abandoned land.
Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Chief Health Officer Dr Fazle Shamsul Kabir told The Business Post the pre-monsoon survey identified three DSCC wards as risky and four as moderately risky.
He said combing operations were carried out for three days in the seven wards. “We are still observing the situation. No cases have been reported in those wards so far.”
Kabir also said the DSCC’s regular operations and mosquito eradication campaigns were going on to prevent infections.