The country has witnessed the highest number of deaths due to dengue in the first 14 days of this month of September. There haven't been so many deaths in the initial two weeks of any previous month. On average, 13 people have died every day this month, a figure unprecedented in previous months.
Since the end of July, the number of patients outside Dhaka has been increasing. For a week, dengue patients have been admitted outside Dhaka at twice the previous rate. Besides Dhaka, deaths have also surged in other districts.
In this critical situation, 11 more people have died due to dengue in the country in a 24-hour period on Thursday. This brings the total number of dengue-related deaths in the country to 778 this year.
According to the notification sent from the Health Emergency Operation Center and Control Room of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Thursday, six people died of dengue in Dhaka, and five outside Dhaka in the past 24 hours (from 8:00 am on Wednesday to 8:00 am Thursday).
At present, 2,663 people have been admitted to hospitals with dengue. Among them, 900 individuals have been admitted to different hospitals in Dhaka, and 1,763 new patients have been admitted to hospitals outside Dhaka.
In the first 14 days of this month, 185 people have died due to this mosquito borne disease. In the same period of August, 165 people died. However, the number of patients during this time in August was slightly higher than that of this month.
Regarding the ongoing dengue situation, the former director of the government's Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Professor Mahmudur Rahman, told Prothom Alo, "There haven't been any extra efforts to tackle the severe impact of dengue. Much of the control relies on natural processes. Mosquito control is paramount in managing dengue, and I observe insufficient efforts in that regard."
Earlier, the highest death toll due to dengue in the country was recorded last year - 281 people. Additionally, 179 people died from dengue in 2019, 7 people in 2020, and 105 people in 2021.
Professor Mahmudur Rahman told Prothom Alo that the reason for the high death rate this time is changes in the symptoms of dengue. Unlike before, symptoms like fever, body ache, eye pain, blood clots, or rash are not observed in many cases this time.
Symptoms like diarrhoea and coughing have now been added, which has led to a delay in identifying dengue cases. Many people are experiencing dengue for the second time, and the risk naturally increases when a person is infected with a new type of infection.
Professor Mahmudur Rahman believes that health management in Dhaka has somewhat improved, but this improvement is not as developed outside Dhaka. This, too, is a reason for the increase in deaths.