Dengue situation may worsen further in this weather

Arman, a resident of Mohammedpur in Dhaka, is in hospital with dengue. Little Araf is sitting beside his ailing father. Sunday, Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital
Tanvir Ahammed

The number of dengue patients has been on the rise since the end of July. Dengue cases in districts outside Dhaka have risen exponentially in the first six days of September. It’s been raining incessantly with no fall of temperature along with extreme humidity. This weather favours the breeding of aedes mosquitoes.

Meteorologists say the situation may remain the same all throughout the month. Entomologists and public health experts fear that the dengue situation may worsen further in this situation.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh reported 14 more dengue deaths on Wednesday. With that, the toll this month rose to 78. A total of 671 dengue patients have died this year so far.

According to the regular bulletin of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Tuesday, as many as 2,115 people were admitted to different hospitals after being diagnosed with dengue in 24 hours from Tuesday 8:00 am to Wednesday 8:00 am. Of them, some 833 patients are from Dhaka, while the remaining 1,282 cases were recorded in the different districts.

A total of 138,022 people have been admitted to different hospitals across the country so far this year. Some 63,273 of the patients were admitted to hospitals in Dhaka and the rest have been admitted to hospitals outside Dhaka.

The outbreak of dengue may take a severe turn this month given the weather condition and spread of dengue outside Dhaka, said Mushtuq Husain, former advisor of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

Speaking to Prothom Alo on Wednesday, he said, “It’s been raining sporadically. However, the temperature rises as soon as the rain stops. Besides, the humidity is extreme. Such weather is suitable for the breeding of aedes mosquito. Such a weather condition can prolong the dengue season this year.”

Referring to the dengue situation last year, Mushtuq Husain said the number of dengue patients was the highest in October last year. Meanwhile, meteorologist Bajlur Rashid said the rain may continue throughout the month.

He said that it has been raining in several parts of the country. At the same time, the country is also witnessing heatwaves in different areas.

According to the weather forecast of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) for the next 24 hours from Wednesday, there could be heavy rains in most of the areas in five divisions. Besides, a mild heatwave is sweeping over Rangpur division and the districts of Dhaka, Tangail, Rajshahi, Bogura, Sirajgoanj and Sylhet. It may subside in some places.

Speaking regarding this to Prothom Alo, Kabirul Bashar, entomologist and professor of the zoology department at the Jahangirnagar University, said this sort of weather is perfect for aedes mosquito breeding.

However, the number of dengue cases is higher in areas and districts outside Dhaka. The spread of dengue may increase further if the weather remains the same, he added.

Some 281 people died of dengue last year, which was the record at the time. That record has been breached long ago this year. In 2019, some 179 people died of dengue. The dengue-related casualties were 7 and 105 in 2020 and 2021 respectively.