By: Siam Sarower Jamil
Dhaka, July 24: Mosquito-borne Chikungunya is spreading fast in Bangladesh with intermittent rains.
Districts outside Dhaka have confirmed cases of chikungunya, raising concerns the outbreak may soon spread to other areas of the country.
Aedes albopictus, the mosquito responsible for spreading the disease, has been found in Narsingdi, Gazipur, Savar and Munshiganj, Dr Tauhid Uddin Ahmed, former chief scientific officer at the government’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), told Imphal Times.
“Countless people travel back and forth between Dhaka and these areas every day. The disease may spread quickly.”
Of the 108 patients in 15 districts who complained of pains and fever since Jul 22, 30 were found infected with chikungunya, according to IEDC.
These districts include areas around the capital, Narsingdi, Munshiganj and Gazipur, where 21 of 60 patients tested were found to be infected with the virus.
Narsingdi reported 12 cases, the most in any district outside Dhaka city. Five were reported in the Dhaka district, two in Munshiganj and two in Gazipur.
Four cases were reported in Bogra, three in Chittagong and one each in Gopalganj and Rajshahi. All of the patients had recently visited Dhaka, the IEDC said. Most of them also had arthritis.
‘Those who visit Dhaka regularly have to be careful so as not to spread the disease to other areas,’ IEDC Director Dr Mirzadi Sabrina Flora told Imphal Times.
Anyone bitten by a chikungunya-infected mosquito in Dhaka can pass on the virus to other aedes albopictus mosquitos outside the city, she said, raising fears the disease may spread quite far all too quickly.
Narsingdi Civil Surgeon Dr Sultana Razia said she was not aware of the 12 cases in her district. The Munshiganj victims were infected while in Dhaka, the district’s civil surgeon Dr Siddiqur Rahman said. He said that the disease had not spread too far in his district.
Health Directorate Inspector General Dr Abul Kalam Azad said that various initiatives had been taken to prevent the spread of chikungunya outside Dhaka.
‘We have told our officers to move as soon as a case is confirmed. They must take steps to prevent other mosquitos from biting the patient and transmitting the disease further. We have also told local government officials to take the necessary extermination measures.’
Chikungunya spreads out in Bangladesh
By: Siam Sarower Jamil