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Bangladesh - Health - July 15, 2023

Bangladesh on top in the world in fatality rate

Dengue disease spreading alarmingly

Rafiqul Islam Azad: Breaking all the previous records, the dengue situation in Bangladesh is becoming alarming day by day. The country has already exceeded all the affected countries around the world in terms of deaths, according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) of the European Union.
In Bangladesh alone, the number of dengue-infected deaths per thousand has reached 5.45.Among the most dengue affected other countries,the death rate in Peru is 1.43 per thousand while Brazil, which has surpassed 1.5 million cases, has a death rate of 0.25, said the ECDC report.
It said approximately 2.2 million dengue patients have been identified worldwide this year, resulting in one thousand deaths.
The latest data from the ECDC, Malaysia has reported 44,000 cases, the Philippines 40,000 cases, Sri Lanka 37,000 cases, and Vietnam 32,000 cases this year. Additionally, dengue patients have been identified in at least 100 countries, including Singapore, Afghanistan, Laos, Cambodia, China, Australia, Fiji, the Maldives, and others.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States stated that Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes transmit the dengue virus, spreading dengue fever among humans. Dengue is a major cause of illness in areas at high risk. Dengue outbreaks are occurring in various countries around the world. Dengue outbreaks are seen in America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and many other countries.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 400 million people are infected with dengue each year. The organization states that nearly half of the world’s population is currently at risk of dengue. Dengue outbreaks are more prevalent in tropical and subtropical climates. Most of these areas are urban and peri-urban regions.
Although many infections result in mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, dengue can also cause severe illness and even death. There is no specific treatment for dengue. Early detection and appropriate medical care based on symptoms and signs can help improve patient outcomes and reduce mortality, it said.
Experts hold delay in taking patients to hospital responsible for the deaths. They said this time, the situation is more complicated for those who have been infected for the second or third time before.
They express concerns that dengue transmission in the country could significantly increase in the coming months, particularly in August and September.
The number of dengue patients is increasing in hospitals across Bangladesh, including the capital.
Multiple surveys conducted by the Department of Health’s Disease Control section reveal that this year, Dhaka city has seen a higher presence of the dengue-carrying Aedes mosquito compared to the previous year.
The state of hospitals, including the capital, is miserable. Hospitals are to take care of the patients while dealing with the pressure. The situation is such that before leaving the hospital, there is another patient waiting beside the bed.
With the increasing prevalence of dengue, the pressure on hospitals has increased to start accommodating more patients. Many are resorting to treatment even in the corridors without getting a bed. The time, the most alarming aspect is the rapid deterioration of the physical condition of dengue-infected individuals.
Meanwhile, the number of dengue-infected people in Bangladesh has exceeded 17,000 and more than 90 have died.
Director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) Brigadier General Nazmul Haque said delay in taking the patients to hospitals is responsible for the many deaths.
As a general practice, the people usually take medication if they feel fever. They even do not go to the doctors. When dengue is contracted, it often goes unnoticed. As a result, many patients die even after coming to the hospital, he said.
Medicine specialist and personal physician to the Prime Minister, Dr. ABM Abdullah said comparing to the previous year’s statistics, dengue hemorrhagic fever and shock syndrome are now responsible for deaths. He has advised the patients and their relatives to remain cautious.
The number of patients admitted to hospitals with dengue fever is increasing. From last Saturday to Thursday, within seven days, a total of 820, 836, 889, 1054, 1246, and 1239 individuals were admitted to hospitals in Bangladesh with dengue fever. From the beginning of this year until now, the identified dengue patients have reached a total of 17,831 with 449 patients recorded in the last 24 hours.
According to Health Services Department, deaths due to dengue fever in Bangladesh until now is 93. In 2022, among 61,000 patients, 281 deaths were reported.
According to their analysis, the behavior of the Aedes mosquito, the carrier of the disease, has changed. The symptoms of dengue fever are also being observed differently.
It is known that dengue was first observed in the world in 1780. Then, in 1950, dengue outbreaks were seen in Thailand and the Philippines in Asia. In 1963, dengue was observed in Kolkata, India, and in 1964, it was seen in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
At that time, dengue was referred to as “Dhaka Fever.” In 2000, dengue was officially recognized as a disease in Bangladesh. That same year, more than five thousand dengue virus-infected patients were admitted to hospitals, resulting in 93 deaths.
For the past two decades, the government has been working on dengue control, patient management, and eradication of Aedes mosquitoes. However, due to weak mosquito control measures and deficiencies in patient management, the disease has not been brought under control.
Dr. Mo. Nazmul Islam, the Director (Disease Control) of the Directorate General of Health Services, said that they are providing the highest level of treatment in hospitals
“Treatment is ongoing in private hospitals as well. There is coordination with the relevant ministries and departments of the government.”
Dhaka North City Mahakhali DNCC COVID Hospital has been designated solely for the treatment of dengue patients by the Ministry of Health.

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