Dengue in Bangladesh

The IEDCR has records of the number of cases reported since 2014.

16,223 Reported cases in July 2019.

Dengue Reporting from Different Districts in 2019

Dengue has spread to all of Bangladesh’s country’s 64 districts, but Directorate of General Health Services (DGHS) records show more than 86 percent of cases in the country are concentrated in the capital.

Who has been infected?

Both men and women in the age range of 15 to 35 years old. More women than men are dengue patients. View this chart on Tableau.

How are these cases distributed across Dhaka?

There are a greater number of cases reported in Moghbazar, Rampura, Jatrabari , Malibag  than other areas in Dhaka city.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary vector of dengue. The virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. The dengue mosquito can breed in just a teaspoon of standing or stagnant water. The Aedes aegypti mosquito lives in urban habitats and breeds mostly in man-made containers. Common breeding areas are discarded tires, barrels, plastic drums and jerry cans. Unlike other mosquitoes Ae. aegypti is a day-time feeder; its peak biting periods are early in the morning and in the evening before dusk.

“Cities like Dhaka, where development is taking place in an unplanned manner, the grounds are ripe for mosquitoes to breed and procreate.”

Bangladeshi urban planner Dr Sarwar Jahan told Al Jazeera.

Cases reported earlier in the year, more recorded cases in 2009 than any year in the last 10 years

Reported cases of Dengue over the years. View chart on Tableau.

Dengue reporting related deaths over the years in Bangladesh. View chart on Tableau.

The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades. (WHO, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue). This is the case for Bangladesh as well.

Usually, the first cases of dengue are reported in late May or June and go away by late August or early September. However, this year, the number of reported cases begin in January and drastically increased in 2019.

Who is the data source?

These data are sourced from the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research

The present Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) were established in 1976. The institute conducts research on epidemiological and communicable diseases and runs disease control programs mainly in the form of parasitic and entomological containment of vector-borne diseases through the application of epidemiological principles. For example, in recent years, they have conducted tuberculosis prevalence survey, a national serosurvey of dengue exposure in Bangladesh and estimated the incidence of maternal deaths from HEV in Bangladesh. Other activities include surveillance, outbreak investigation and training and workshops on related issues.

PDF versions of these reports are also available for download from this URL (https://www.iedcr.gov.bd/index.php/dengue/dengue-current-situation).

Tonic app lets you order dengue tests from your home

Tonic, an online healthcare service of Telenor Health, has launched its home service for diagnostic tests of dengue through their mobile application.

The recent dengue outbreak has become a major national issue, and Telenor health has raised eyebrows by this intervention. Tonic has launched the service along with video conference for doctors’ consultation through its mobile application “Tonic App”.

People from Dhaka and Chattogram metropolitans and Mymensingh city will be able to order dengue screening tests through Tonic App. The best part is that the patients can get the entire test done from their homes.

Read more: Dengue in Bangladesh

How it works

The patient first needs to order tests through the Tonic app. After the order has been placed, Tonic’s sample collector will visit and collect the sample from the patients within 24 hours. Tonic is quite concerned with the safety and promises to maintain all aseptic conditions necessary. After conducting the test, the patient can consult a doctor over a video call through Tonic App along with their report.

Read more: Preventing dengue: Steps that you must take

In this age of digital disruption and innovation, Tonic App promises to be the much intervention at the most appropriate time. Let us hope this app has a significant impact on the ongoing outbreak. 

Foods that help increase platelet count

Platelets are the smallest of our blood cells, seen only under a microscope, circulate within our blood and bind together at the site of a damaged blood vessel. On receiving the signal from damaged sites, the platelets rush to the site, bind together and clamp the damaged vessel, thereby controlling the damage. You can call them, “On-site repairing engineers”. So, maintaining a normal count of these tiny blood cells is very important.

A normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood.

However, for certain conditions and diseases, such as dengue, something in the blood prevents the formation of platelets. This can be understood from a low platelet count from a routine blood test called a complete blood count (CBC). Once this happens, consulting a doctor and getting further tested is the first step. Once the patient is diagnosed with what is causing the low platelet count, there are certain foods that aid recovery:

Papayas

Papaya can be consumed in both solid and juice form and it helpe elevate platelet counts.

Lemon & Orange Juice

Eat other Vitamin C rich foods to promote antibodies. It is vital to boost immunity. Make a smoothie with a combination of these fruits, add in honey, turmeric, ginger which are advisable for regular consumption.

Amla

This fruit is good to add to the diet. It is another source of vitamins and readily available in summer seasons.

Pomegranate juice

This fruit is also packed with essential nutrients and counters the fatigue that comes with a low platelet count.

Leafy vegetables

Vegetables like spinach are rich in vitamins, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients help in boosting the immune system and a better immune system helps recover faster. However, the vegetables should not be consumed in an oily or spicy manner. Preferred method of preparations is to boil it sufficiently, absolutely avoiding any raw vegetables.

This is a recommended diet to aid recovery, it is not meant as an alternative to medicine and formal healthcare. Do not self diagnose.

Low platelet count is a common symptom of a strain of dengue.

To read how to prevent dengue in the first place: https://m.hifipublic.com/en/2019/07/26/preventing-dengue-steps-that-you-must-take/

Preventing dengue: Steps that you must take

The dengue situation in the country has reached an epidemic level at this point. Hospitals are getting filled up fast by the affected and many are dying due to lack or delay of treatment.

The situation is only made worse by the unique type of dengue that is being observed this year. The symptoms are not being visible early on, leaving many unsuspicious of their dengue fever.

Here are 6 steps that you can take to make sure you stay safe from the epidemic disease:

  1. If you have water clogging around the room or your house, clear them at least every three days
  2. Do not let water accumulate anywhere, including flower pots, containers, used up cans and other similar objects
  3. Use a mosquito net while sleeping, whether it is night or day. Aedes mosquitos are known for flying around during daytime as much as the night
  4. If possible, consider wearing light coloured full-sleeved tops and pants at all times
  5. Use mosquito repellants on the hands, legs and uncovered area of the face whenever possible
  6. Shut the windows, doors and nets during dawn and dusk

Dengue is deadly, but it is preventable and treatable. If you are caught off guard with a fever, get yourself checked as early as possible. Don’t wait for the symptoms to show up. Stay safe and spread awareness.