Dengue the Deadly Killer

Government statistics put the latest figure of afflicted at 1,227 with 16 among them having died. Children have proved to be the most vulnerable group. Monsoon which is the high risk season is not even half-way through. So, the worries deepen.

Dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fever have emerged as a major public health problem. The primary vector mosquito has spread throughout the tropics and into susceptible human populations in urban areas. The urbanization process, which has left many without adequate water, sewer systems or waste management, and created new breeding grounds for the vector, has hastened the spread of the disease. Vector control has not halted the explosion in transmission of the disease.

Basically, statistics, whether of official or unofficial origins, can hardly depict the inherently alarming dengue situation that faces us today. It is the scientific surveys carried out in Dhaka rather belatedly -- one must say after the alarm bell has actually started ringing and not before that -- which conjure up the real gravity of the situation. A DCC survey last month found out that eight out of its 10 zones have an alarming concentration of Aedes mosquito. More to the point, the normal larvae presence of 20 per container on the bruteax index (BI) has been dangerously outstripped by 215 larvae found in a single container. Little wonder, the number of adult Aedes in the city has risen five to ten times the normal level. Unchecked infestation of eggs and larvae has allowed zillions of adult mosquitoes to grow. If anything, the receding flood waters will only give them newer hang-outs.

The Dhaka City Corporation is vociferous now in its expression of serious concern at the dengue situation, somewhat betraying a sense that public attention is being diverted from its insecticide spraying failure to a hype of some kind. It is also going all out with an awareness building campaign to seek public cooperation in keeping neighborhoods clean which should have been embarked upon earlier. The civil society groups themselves are at work there anyway.

Disclaimer: All information shown here are from different sources. The SDNP is not responsible for any inaccuracy in them.

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