Twenty-five-year-old Ali Imran is undergoing treatment at the Dengue Ward of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital. Imran, who had been ill with a fever, suddenly fell unconscious in his office five days ago.
After getting admitted to BSMMU, he has been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne disease. The platelet count in Imran’s blood is falling rapidly. Doctors say, he is in critical condition.
Like Imran, 16-year-old Saidul Morsalin Sourav is undergoing treatment at BSMMU after getting infected by dengue virus. The class-ten-student of Eskaton Garden High School has been in the hospital for the past six days.
The platelet count in his blood has fallen to 60,000. If it drops further, he will need a blood transfusion.
The number of dengue patients in hospitals across the country is increasing every day. This year most of the patients are between the age 16 and 30 years, according to a study by the virology department of BSMMU.
The study, “Ongoing Dengue Outbreak 2019”, has found that dengue is more prevalent among men. Among the dengue patients, the female-male ratio is 1:2.7, according to the study findings.
Moreover, the study also identified instances of one individual being infected with two or more of the four serotypes of dengue, the four serotypes being Den-1, Den-2, Den-3, and Den4. Physicians noted this trend as ‘very alarming’. The study has found that 77 patients have been affected with two or more serotypes of dengue.
Seven patients have also been detected with Den-4 type dengue at BSMMU. Before this finding, it was claimed that there was no case of Den-4 dengue infection in the country.
BSMMU virology department tested blood of 6,129 individuals for possible detection of dengue virus during the period between January 1 and July 25 this year. Of them, 1,278 were diagnosed with dengue, meaning 21 percent of the tested individuals were found infected by the deadly virus.
According to the study: in the past, the highest number of dengue cases were recorded in the month of August.
The BSMMU study has found 26 percent of the affected individuals to be NS1 positive, six percent IGM positive, and five percent IGM and IGG positive, respectively.
Saifullah Munshi, head of the research team and also the chairman at the BSMMU virology department, said that the research findings indicate that severity of dengue increases in August, but this year it has taken a serious turn much earlier.
Besides, this time all serotypes of the disease have been detected in patients, and the rate of co-infection is high; therefore, taking prompt measures to prevent dengue outbreak is urgent, he observed.
According to the study report, fatality risk is 1 to 5 percent higher among those affected by dengue for the second time.
Physicians have expressed concern over the change in the nature of dengue this year. Among the dengue patients this year, most have been found to be at stage - 3, which carries higher death risk. At this stage, both platelet count and blood pressure in patients fall quickly.
Dr Lelin Choudhury, preventive medicine specialist, said that dengue has changed its pattern as compared to that of the last year, the new pattern being more life-threatening.
In the past few years, shock syndrome occurred in a dengue patient when the patient’s temperature reached 104-105 degree, he said, while adding: this year, patients are going into shock syndrome with fever that is considerably lower than this (102-103 degree), resulting in dehydration in patients and causing accumulation of water in their abdomen and lung. “Patients often becomes unconscious for this,” he concluded.
Number of dengue patients crosses 15,000
According to data, published by the Health Information and Emergency Control Room of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 15,269 dengue patients were admitted to different government and private hospitals during the period between January 1 and July 30 this year. Of them, 10,953 patients returned home after treatment.
In last 24 hours (ending on Tuesday morning), 1,335 more were infected by dengue. At present, 4,408 dengue patients are undergoing treatment at different hospitals within and across the country, DGHS data showed.
According to DGHS, so far eight persons have died of dengue in the country this year. On the other hand, unofficial sources put the death figure at about 45.
Dengue in 60 districts
A total of 1,845 dengue patients have been detected in 60 districts of the country this year.