Dhaka, Aug 4: The administrations in Bangladesh are sweating to control a dengue outbreak, as holidaymakers are preparing to travel home from the epicentre of the spread, with Eid-Ul Azha less than two weeks away.
Traders, especially those of cattle for sacrifice during Eid, are also travelling to and from the capital ahead of the festival. With the mosquito-borne viral disease already spread all over Bangladesh, especially by travellers from Dhaka, the major challenge now is how to stop the spread of dengue further outside the capital.
Rashid-e-Mahbub, a former pro-vice chancellor of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, has said mosquitos must be controlled along with treatment of dengue patients to contain the disease.
Speaking to UNI he has advised training of doctors at district and Upazila levels and stopping mosquitos from going outside Dhaka by bus, train, launch and other modes of transport.
Most of the dengue patients outside Dhaka actually travelled from the capital after infection through mosquito bite, but district-level doctors on Friday said they were finding more patients who had not been to Dhaka in recent times. It means mosquitos in the districts carried the virus from the patients to others.
Aedes aegypti, the mosquito which carries dengue virus, cannot fly more than 300 metres on an average, but they can reach far away by human transports. Mosquitos can take shelter in buses or aircraft when someone opens the door. They can also lay eggs on fresh water kept on vehicles, Kabirul Bashar, an entomologist at Jahangirnagar University’s zoology department, said. The risk of mosquito dispersion outside Dhaka will rise highly during Eid when hundreds of thousands of people will leave the city.
Director General for Health Services Abul Kalam Azad said he does not see any alternative to raising awareness among the people, especially transporters, to stop the disease from spreading further outside Dhaka.
He noted that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina advised spraying mosquito repellents on the vehicles and vessels when they leave Dhaka. Azad also said those outside Dhaka must remain 'very careful' to stop mosquitos from biting dengue patients and carry the virus away.
Launch, bus and train operators said they have started mosquito killing and cleansing operations in the terminals, vehicles and vessels to fight the spread of dengue.
Dengue In west Bengal
On the other hand the rise in the cases of dengue fever in West Bengal in the border regions is a result of the widespread outbreak of the disease in Bangladesh, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said. The dengue situation in Bangladesh is very alarming. As Bangladesh is our neighbor, if something happens there, the effects also crosses the border," she said at a program in Jadavpur yesterday.
There are some things that can't be barred. Mosquitoes from there can cross over to here, while mosquitoes from this side can also go there, she said, adding that they have to be careful about the issue.
According to the information from the state government health office, around 700 people infected with dengue have been admitted at various government and private hospitals till Thursday morning. Some local media published reports of deaths caused by dengue fever in the state, although there is no official report in this regard yet.