Dengue could take a more dangerous turn in monsoon

EditorialProthom Alo illustration

Once, dengue used to be considered a seasonal ailment of monsoon. But now there are outbreaks every season, irrespective of winter, summer or monsoon.

As reported in Prothom Alo, 21 people have died of dengue in the country this year. Two of them died in May while eight died in the first eight days of June.

It’s been reported from the Health Emergency Operation Center and Control Room that a total of 506 dengue patients are currently admitted in hospitals across the country.

So far, 2,854 dengue patients have been admitted in hospitals this year. As many as 2,119 of them were from Dhaka while the other 735 were from outside of the capital.

That means the prevalence of dengue is acuter in Dhaka. On the other hand, dengue outbreak can be noticed in quite a few more districts outside of Dhaka including Cox’s Bazar.

Following the intense heat, there has been significant rainfall in several areas including Dhaka in the past two days. There is a possibility of rainwater accumulating at different places including houses and yards.

As believed by experts, just as the virus is mutating in nature, so is the Aedes mosquito. A reason for this is the accumulation of water in various parts of Dhaka city owing to the continuous digging and construction work almost throughout the year.

So the Aedes mosquito is finding a suitable breeding environment. And it could take a more dangerous turn in monsoon. It’s necessary to take two types of steps, pre-prevention and post-prevention.

The first step is to destroy the breeding grounds of Aedes mosquito, the source of dengue. It has to be ensured that water doesn’t accumulate in the yard, terrace or balcony of the house.

Citizens and the city corporation both have their roles in this matter. Citizens must remember that negligence on a single person’s part can harm many and can lead to death also.

In this regard, local government bodies including the city corporation are supposed to raise public awareness, spray anti-mosquito pesticides and take action against law-breakers, if necessary.

Experience from the past couple of years has shown that the pesticide being sprayed on by the city corporation doesn’t kill mosquitoes. Pesticides that kill mosquitoes has to be sprayed.

The number of patients has started rising early-on this year. So, everyone also has to be on maximum alert when it comes to medical care.

Many people waste time in deliberation when they’ve got fever and this can turn into a major problem. Dengue test is a must in any case of fever at this time.

Dengue prevalence isn’t equal in all areas of Dhaka city. Almost half of the dengue patients undergoing treatment at Mugda Medical College and Hospital are residents of Jatrabari area.

This means, Aedes’s prevalence is stronger there. It would be appropriate of the city corporation to take quick measures after pointing out the affected areas. Stronger programmes must be taken also in areas outside of Dhaka, where the dengue outbreak is more prevalent.

The season of monsoon is up ahead. It must be ensured that rainwater doesn’t get stagnant anywhere for long. Mosquitos won’t be able breed if the water can be drained away faster.

Since dengue outbreak starts from Aedes mosquito, our main target would be to destroy its breeding grounds. Such steps have to be taken that nobody is infected with dengue.  

Then again, if someone does get infected they have to seek proper medical care on time. There’s no room for irresponsibility in this case. It’s necessary to form a coordinated national action plan if the dengue outbreak is to be reduced.