There is no immediate relief from the deadly dengue disease in the country as the numbers of patients and deaths are still high at the end of September.
Experts fear that the dengue surge may also continue in October and may come under control at the end of the month as the weather is still hot and favourable for breeding of Aedes mosquito, the vector of the disease.
Meanwhile, the numbers of dengue infection cases and deaths have crossed all the previous records of dengue outbreak in the country.
“The temperature is still high and sometimes it is still raining intermittently which is favourable for Aedes mosquito. Dengue will not decrease until the rain and hot weather decrease,” Prof Dr Ahmedul Kabir, Additional Director General (Development and Planning) of the DGHS, told the Daily Sun.
He further said the dengue is still spreading in the country due to weather and huge number of infected patients.
“If the temperature decreases in October, then the surge of the dengue disease may decrease at the end of the month. However, it is actually difficult to assume the situation in the days coming as a number of factors work in controlling the deadly disease,” Ahmedul Kabir added.
According to Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) data, over 70 thousand dengue patients and over 360 deaths from the disease were reported in 27 days of the current month, September.
Earlier, the month of August this year experienced the worst dengue situation as 71,976 people were diagnosed with the mosquito-borne disease and 342 died until the end of the month.
Some 43,854 people were hospitalised with the disease, and 204 died in July.
Of the total, over 58 percent of the dengue patients were reported in countryside while over 65 percent of deaths were recorded in the capital.
Over 1.9 lakh dengue patients and around 950 deaths from the deadly disease are reported so far in the current year while three months are already left to end the year.
Earlier in 2022, the dengue outbreak was risen to peak with highest number of cases (21,932) in October and the cases started to drop in November. Last year, 62,382 dengue patients and 281 deaths were reported.
At the same time, in 2021, the dengue surge went to peak with highest number of cases (7,841) in September while the number of cases started to drop from October. In the same year, 28,429 dengue patients and 105 deaths were reported.
The experts said this year the dengue outbreak will be lengthy as the number of infection cases is still high even at the end of September while intermittent rain still continues, creating a favourable weather for Aedes mosquito breeding across the country.
“The uptrend of the dengue infection cases and deaths is likely to continue till October 20 and then it may start declining at the end of next month,” Dr Khalilur Rahman, former chief entomologist of the DGHS, told the Daily Sun.
He said the Aedes breeding and dengue virus transmission will start declining when the temperature will fall to below 15-16 degrees Celsius.
“There is no alternative to destroying the Ades mosquitoes and breeding grounds to control the country’s dengue situation. Dillydallying in controlling the vector is the main reason behind increasing the dengue patients,” Khalilur Rahman added.
Though the local government units, including Dhaka South City Corporation and Dhaka North City Corporation, are claiming that anti-mosquito drive continues, the Aedes mosquitoes are also increasing to raise the number of dengue patients.
In a recent survey of the DGHS, it has been found that Aedes breeding ground and larvae exist in 23.52 percent houses of the DNCC and in 18.90 percent houses of the DSCC in the capital.
Epidemiologist Dr M Mushtaq Hussain said lack of due attention to the dengue management is one of the reasons behind increase in the number of deaths.
“The ongoing health management regarding dengue is routinely. Though the dengue outbreak is not declared as health emergency, the surge should be managed with emergency measures to control deaths from the disease,” he said.
Mushtaq Hussain, also a public health expert, said the government should ensure dengue testing facilities at grass roots level, including at community clinics, to ensure maximum test to detect maximum patient and to reduce the number of deaths from the disease.