Dengue hospitalization irregular in December

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The number of dengue hospital admissions appeared unusual this December, health experts said, blaming climate change and the negligence of the authorities concerned.

At least 737 dengue patients were hospitalized in the first 11 days of December when the mosquito-borne viral disease killed three people.

Health experts said climate change, including a prolonged rainy season and reluctance to take effective action and not follow scientific methods to combat the mosquito threat, have led to the problem.

The monthly official dengue hospitalization in December was 11 in 2014, 75 in 2015, 145 in 2016, 126 in 2017, and 293 in 2018.

The number was 1,247 in 2019, when the country saw its highest dengue hospital admissions ever, with 1,01,354 people and 179 deaths.

According to official figures, only 231 people with the mosquito-borne viral disease were hospitalized in 2020.

Entomologist Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury said an extended rainy season and the negligence of the authorities concerned were mainly responsible for such a high number of dengue hospital admissions in December.

Dengue usually occurs at the beginning of the monsoons in May and lasts through the post-monsoon month of October, he said.

“We saw rain in November and December, which kept the breeding grounds of the Aedes mosquitoes intact. City authorities have not taken effective action to contain the threat, ”said Manjur.

He noted that daily dengue hospital admissions in December should not have been more than five to seven given this year’s trend.

“The high number of cases is unusual and a threat to public health. I hope the situation will normalize in January when the cold weather will dry out mosquito breeding grounds, ”he said, adding that dengue will decline naturally without any action from the authorities.

Kabirul Bashar, professor of zoology at Jahangirnagar University and an expert in vector management, said climate change, hundreds of buildings under construction, and the water crisis that caused people to store water in various containers were responsible for the unusual cases of dengue in December was.

“From now on we have to live with dengue all year round,” he said.

He urged the authorities to take effective action based on the scientific method.

“You should mix the mosquito control activities of Culex and Aedes together. Now city authorities have focused on Culex mosquitoes and practically stopped their programs for Aedes mosquitoes, ”he said.

“After the seven-day interval, the larvicide should be administered in the same place and the adulticide should be administered regularly in one place. The adulticide should not be sprayed against the wind and the wearer would not exceed a speed of 15 mph, ”he added.

He regretted that the city authorities did not follow these effective scientific methods.

Officials from the Directorate-General of Health said they warned in March of a higher number of dengue cases this season.

Most hospitalized dengue cases in a month this year were reported in September with 7,841 cases, followed by 7,698 cases in August, 5458 cases in October and 3567 cases in November.

Only 372 people were hospitalized with dengue between January and June with no reported death. In July, 2,286 cases of dengue hospitalization were reported.

At least 31 more dengue patients were hospitalized across Bangladesh in the last 24 hours ending at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, bringing the total number of official hospital admissions since January this year to 27,959.

Of the newly hospitalized dengue patients, 24 were hospitalized in the city of Dhaka and seven in various other places in the country, according to a DGHS press release.

The mosquito-borne viral disease has claimed 101 lives in Bangladesh since January.

The city of Dhaka alone accounted for 92 official dengue deaths and at least 23,127 hospitalized cases were reported in the capital, the press release said.

The DGHS data on the dengue situation in Dhaka city includes information from only 46 public and private health institutions.

Selim Reza, CEO of Dhaka North City Corporation, claimed they had continued their regular Aedes and Culex mosquito containment activities.

“The number of dengue hospital admissions in December is unusual,” he admitted.

“Our activities against the Aedes mosquitoes are ongoing. We also started working for Culex mosquitoes, ”he said.

He added that a large number of public agencies, including the Public Works Office, Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority, Ministry of Railways and Milk Vita, have taken little action to control mosquitoes in their respective areas.

The DNCC mayor also alerted authorities to advocate for mosquito containment, he added.

Farid Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of Dhaka South City Corporation, agreed.

“We have not been negligent in controlling mosquitoes,” he said.

The dengue outbreak was first reported in the country in 2000 when, according to DGHS data, 5,551 people were hospitalized and 93 people lost their lives.

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