See More on Facebook

Current affairs, Environment

Dengue Prevalence, Infection: Upscale areas more prone

Crowded areas are most prevalent to dengue fever.


Written by

Updated: August 8, 2019

Dengue infections and Aedes mosquito prevalence are higher in areas with too many multistory buildings and shiny infrastructures adorned with decorative greeneries, although there are a few exceptions, analysis of two government surveys shows.

Take Baridhara, in Dhaka North City Corporation. It is one of the upscale areas in the capital and home to most foreign missions. But larvae presence in households is high here, and at least 50-75 people from this area have taken treatment for dengue so far.

In contrast, Gabtoli, a poorly maintained area inhabited mostly with low-income people, has so far seen 25-50 people taking dengue treatment. No Aedes larvae was found here during the survey last month.

In Baridhara, Aedes larvae was found in 50-70 percent buildings during the survey done by the health department. It is almost the same in Banani, Gulshan-1 and Gulshan-2.

In Dhaka south, areas such as Meradia, Goran, Sayedabad, Muradpur and Hazaribagh have seen fewer patients admitted to hospitals than Lalmatia, Segunbagicha, Malibagh and Moghbazar have.

In the capital, Moghbazar has been the worst affected, with at least 137 dengue patients taking treatment. Malibagh, next to Moghbazar, saw the second highest number of patients — 75-100. As high as 40 percent households in this neighbourhood are infested with Aedes larvae.

The presence of larvae is similar in Segunbagicha, secretariat area, Dhaka University area, Sabujbagh and Rajarbagh, Narinda, Tikatuli, and Gandaria.

MM Aktaruzzaman, programme manager of Communicable Disease Control at the Directorate General of Health Services, said their survey team inspected under-construction buildings, semi-structured one- and two-story buildings, multistory buildings as well as unoccupied flats.

Concentration of Aedes larvae was high in buildings where people stored water for aesthetic purposes, he said.

“This type of mosquito needs clean water for reproduction,” he said, adding that many flats in upscale areas had unused bathrooms with commodes where female Aedes mosquitoes laid eggs.

The team found larvae in discarded tyres, water on the floors, plastic buckets, pottery/clay pots, flower vases and trays and metal cans with water stored in them.

The survey on the concentration of patients was done analysing information about 3,000 patients who took treatment at 12 public and 35 private hospitals across the capital since May 1 to August 2. The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research carried out this survey.

The survey on the mosquito larvae was done by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) from July 17-27. It covered 100 areas of 98 wards in the two city corporations.

Aktaruzzaman recommended further studies for better understanding of mosquito prevalence and infection.

5-35 AGE GROUP MOST VULNERABLE

Findings also show that most dengue patients who took treatment are aged between 5 and 35, with the number of male patients much higher compared to female patients.

Kankar Ghosh, an epidemiologist at Dhaka Shishu Hospital, said students and job holders are at highest risk as they remain outside home in the morning and evening hours, when Aedes mosquitos are known to bite.

These mosquitos usually bite people two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset, and people of these two groups remain outside home at these hours, he said. “For example, an officegoer leaves home before 8:00am and return after sunset.”

And although people can keep their homes clean, they have to rely on the authorities or the city corporations for cleaning offices and educational institutions, he said.

“The number of infections would come down by half if children stopped going outside their home at the risky hours,” he noted.

The study found 56 percent children aged 5-11 were infected from schools, he said.

HM Nazmul Ahsan, associate professor at Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital, said students were very vulnerable as many schools, colleges and coaching centres were not cleaned properly, a reason why students are being infected there.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Daily Star
About the Author: The Daily Star is a leading English-language daily newspaper in Bangladesh.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Current affairs, Environment

Myanmar running out of time to cope with climate change, warns historian Thant Myint-U

Myanmar is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of climate change and is grossly unprepared to deal with the consequences. WASHINGTON – Myanmar is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of climate change, and is grossly unprepared to deal with the consequences, warns historian Dr Thant Myint-U. The Myanmar historian, author and conservationist was in the United States recently to speak on his most recent book examining race, capitalism and the crisis of democracy in Myanmar titled “The Hidden History of Burma”. In an interview for the online video and podcast Asian Insider, Dr Thant told The Straits Times the threat of climate change tipped his ledger towards pessimism about the country’s future. “I think whatever we think of the ledger in general, perhaps it comes to 50/50,” he said. “When you add on


By The Straits Times
December 9, 2019

Current affairs, Environment

SAARC turns 35 but has very little to show for its age

The regional bloc of seven South Asian countries and Afghanistan has largely been held hostage to the rivalry between India and Pakistan, say analysts. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation might have turned 35 but its three-and-a-half decades of existence has largely failed to advance its own central tenet—regional cooperation. As SAARC marked its 35th anniversary with a flurry of congratulatory messages from heads of government, expressing their commitment to regional cooperation, many analysts and diplomats wonder if these promises will ever translate into action. The regional association has failed to hold its 19th summit, ever since 2016 when India sud


By The Kathmandu Post
December 9, 2019

Current affairs, Environment

Climate Change: Bangladesh 7th worst-hit nation

The country is at risk from cyclones and flooding. Bangladesh is seventh among the 10 countries worst hit by extreme weather events, says a global climate report. Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti top the list which has three South Asian countries and seven Asian nations, according to the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2020 that analysed data from 1999 and 2018. Germanwatch, a Berlin based non-profit environmental research organisation, released the report yesterday on the sidelines of The Conference of the Parties (COP-25) meet in Madrid, Spain. In the previous report that examined data between 1998 and 2017, Bangladesh was at the ninth position. The study looked at four indicators — death toll, number of events, loss of property of each person and loss of gross domestic product. The CRI 2020 is based on the loss figures of 181 countries, it said. The report also said Japan, th


By Daily Star
December 5, 2019

Current affairs, Environment

Typhoon Tisoy touches down in the Philippines

The typhoon may affect the Southeast Asian games which is currently underway. Typhoon Tisoy slightly weakened early Tuesday morning as it bears down on Burias Island but it remains strong and destructive, the weather bureau reported. In its 5 a.m. Severe Weather Bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said that Tisoy’s eyewall is currently bringing violent winds and intense rainfall over Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, and Masbate. Its eyewall is also expected to affect Southern Quezon, Romblon, and Marinduque in the next three hours. Frequent to continuous heavy to intense (with isolated torrential) rains will be experienced in the Bicol Region, Romblon, Marinduque, Mindoro Provinces, Calabarzon, Metro Manila, Bataan, Pampanga and Bulacan between Tuesday early morning and late afternoon, Pagasa said. Occasional to frequent heavy


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 3, 2019

Current affairs, Environment

Why Hong Kong residents turned out in record numbers to vote

Many say events of past 5 months galvanised their desire to exercise their democratic right. Amid mild autumn weather and under a clear blue sky in Lek Yuen, the oldest public housing estate in Hong Kong’s Sha Tin, a snaking queue formed outside the community hall shortly after dawn yesterday. It was the constituency’s polling station of the day, and hundreds were in the line before the opening time of 7.30am to vote for their district councillor, one of the lowest rungs of Hong Kong’s elected offices. The scene was repeated across the territory’s 18 districts, where nearly three million people showed up to vote in elections that are usually a quiet affair, with chosen officials confined to dealing with noise complaints and local infrastructure improvement projects. The officials, however, also represent 117 of the 1,200-strong Election Committee that chooses the city̵


By The Straits Times
November 25, 2019

Current affairs, Environment

Nearly 1,000 China nationals nabbed in Malaysia

They are believed to be online scam workers. Malaysian authorities have nabbed nearly 1,000 China nationals who were believed to be working in the country with an online scam syndicate, local media reported. The bust on Wednesday (Nov 20) by the Immigration Department in Cyberjaya was the biggest conducted this year, Bernama news agency said. On its Facebook, department said the raid was conducted at the syndicate’s headquarters in Cyberjaya. Immigration director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the syndicate was operating from a six-storey building in Cyberjaya, a high-technology zone located about an hour south of Kuala Lumpur. The raid was the end result of a month’s worth of surveillance, following complaints from the public. The office was well secured, with guards stationed at each floor and rooms only being accessible with access cards, The Star reported.


By The Straits Times
November 22, 2019