According to recent reports, Bangladesh is currently facing its most severe outbreak of dengue fever, with the number of cases surpassing 300,000. The country has recorded a staggering 301,255 dengue infections and 1,549 deaths this year alone. These alarming figures highlight the urgent need for effective measures to combat the spread of the disease.
The month of September witnessed the peak of this outbreak, with a record-breaking 79,598 reported cases and 396 deaths. In October, an additional 67,769 cases and 359 deaths were recorded. The trend has continued into November with 30,080 new cases and 201 deaths within the first 19 days of the month.
Experts attribute the rapid spread of dengue to a combination of factors, including a prolonged monsoon season, rising temperatures, and a lack of adequate measures to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito population. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary carrier of the dengue virus.
In a pre-monsoon survey funded by the government, an alarming increase in the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes was observed in Dhaka, the capital city. This surge in mosquito numbers has contributed significantly to the unprecedented spread of the disease.
Last year, Bangladesh experienced its highest number of dengue cases since record-keeping began in the 1960s, with 62,382 reported cases and 281 deaths. This year’s outbreak has far surpassed those figures, highlighting the urgent need for more effective vector management and breeding source reduction measures.
Although dengue can be controlled through various means, such as vector management and eliminating breeding sources, authorities have fallen short in implementing these measures. Mohammad Khalilur Rahman, former chief entomologist at the Directorate General of Health Services, expressed dissatisfaction with the steps taken by authorities, emphasizing the importance of more robust and comprehensive strategies to combat the outbreak.
As the crisis deepens, it is crucial that Bangladesh intensify its efforts to control the mosquito population and educate the public about preventive measures. Immediate action is needed to prevent further loss of life and mitigate the long-term impact of this unprecedented dengue outbreak.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is dengue fever?
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by the dengue virus. It is characterized by flu-like symptoms, including high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, and rash.
2. How is dengue transmitted?
Dengue is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti. These mosquitoes become infected by biting a person with dengue and can then transmit the virus to other individuals.
3. What are the measures to control dengue?
Controlling dengue involves various strategies, including vector management (such as insecticide spraying, mosquito netting, and eliminating breeding sources) and community education on preventive measures (such as using mosquito repellent, wearing protective clothing, and keeping surroundings clean).
4. What are the symptoms of dengue?
Symptoms of dengue typically include high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and rash. In severe cases, dengue can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, which can be life-threatening.
5. How can individuals protect themselves from dengue?
To protect themselves from dengue, individuals should avoid mosquito bites by using mosquito repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants, and using mosquito nets or screens to cover windows and doors. It is also important to eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed.