Dengue fever has now become a serious problem in Bangladesh. Last week I have visited a hospital where many dengue patients were admitted for treatment. Each and every one of our country is panicky due to this dangerous disease. Scarcity of bed is one of the biggest problems in hospitals and clinics.
The disease was first found in the country in 2000 when 93 people died in an outbreak, but no-one outside the city was even infected by the virus until 2016. The number of hospitalized dengue patients outside Dhaka was only 37.
But out of the around 1,00,000 patients hospitalized with dengue fever in Bangladesh so far this year, nearly 42 percent of cases have been reported outside the capital, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.
Dengue is a flabby viral extreme fever. An African female mosquito named 'Aedes Aegypty' carries the germ of this disease. These mosquitoes thrive in areas with standing water, including puddles, water tanks, containers, and old tires. Lack of reliable sanitation and regular garbage collection also contribute to the spread of the mosquitoes. There are two types of dengue fever- Classical and Hemorrhagic. Dengue virus has four serotypes, they are DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, DENV-4. Any of them can cause dengue fever. But DENV-2 and DENV-3 are too much dangerous. These two serotypes are responsible for most serious Hemorrhagic dengue fever.
Classical dengue fever is not so serious like Hemorrhagic. The symptoms of classical dengue fever are high fever coming in separate waves, pain behind the eyes, muscle, joint, and bone pain, severe headache, and a skin rash with red spots. Sometimes bone-pain becomes so extreme that it seems like breaking of a bone. This is why sometimes it is called 'Break bone fever'. Anyone can recover from it within 3/4 days. Sometimes the patient feels weak and aversion.
But Hemorrhagic dengue fever often causes the death of the patient. The symptoms of classical dengue fever become extreme in this case. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, bruising, and uncontrolled bleeding. High fever can last from 2 to 7 days. Complications can lead to circulatory system failure and shock, and can be fatal (also known as Dengue Shock Syndrome). There is no antiviral treatment available.
Dengue fever is not an infectious disease. Doctors prescribe medicines for pain and vomit. Sometimes saline is pushed through vain. Dengue patient will take normal and liquid food and sufficient water repeatedly. The only way to control Dengue is to destroy Aedes mosquito. To do so, we should keep our surroundings neat and clean and free of stagnant water. Keep patients infected with dengue covered with the mosquito net at all times to prevent Aedes mosquitoes spreading the viruses to uninfected people.
Personal prevention: (1) wearing light-colored clothes; (2) installing mosquito net on doors and windows; (3) hanging the mosquito net over the sleeping area to prevent mosquitos from biting.
It is worth noting that Aedes mosquitos tend to bite during the day. Everyone should come forward and take effective measures to destroy all breeding sources. In Bangladesh, this year's dengue outbreak is unprecedented. But we have to understand that there is no alternative but to raise awareness in destroying the breeding grounds for mosquitoes to bring the dengue menace to an end. We all have to work together to end this. If each and everyone becomes conscious, dengue fever can surely be eradicated from our country.