Dengue, Covid Double Blow:
As a person's chance of being infected with both dengue and Covid-19 is rising, the health directorate has taken an initiative to train doctors involved in dengue treatment across the country tomorrow.
"We are going to hold an online training programme on August 12 for the doctors of public and private hospitals who are providing treatment to dengue patients. They will be trained on what to do when a person contracts both dengue and coronavirus," said Afsana Alamgir Khan, deputy programme manager (malaria and Aedes transmitted diseases) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Bangladesh Society of Medicine will conduct the training. In the event, doctors will be guided on what they should do when a patient carries both the viruses and remain in normal and critical conditions, she said.
"We don't have any data about the cases of carrying both the viruses, but we are informed by Bangladesh Society of Medicine that there are some cases like this. For this, we are going to hold the training," said Afsana.
According to the DGHS data, 226 people with dengue fever were hospitalised in the country in 24 hours ending at 8:00am yesterday. Of them, 15 are from outside Dhaka.
With them, 4,979 patients have so far been diagnosed with dengue this year, of which only 214 are from outside Dhaka.
Among 4,979 infected, 2,321 were detected in the current month, while 2,286 were hospitalised in July, 272 in June and 43 were infected in May, according to the DGHS data.
There is a national guideline on dengue treatment, updated in 2021, which all the doctors and nurses of public and private hospitals follow. But there is no guideline about the treatment for a patient carrying both the viruses, said Afsana.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque is expected to inaugurate the training at Hotel InterContinental Dhaka around 11:00am tomorrow, she added.
Doctors from 137 public and private medical college hospitals, over 100 Sadar hospitals and 492 upazila health complexes will join the training from their institutes virtually, she said.
Afsana said they will make the link of the programme available in the DGHS website and Facebook page and if anyone wants to join the training, he or she can.
"We will also record the programme and upload it in DGHS website and anyone can watch it from there anytime," she said.
Experts opined that the recovery battle for patients infected with both the diseases -- considered life threatening -- could be difficult.
Abdul Rahim, consultant of department of medicine of DNCC Covid-19 dedicated hospital, said he got two patients suffering from both the diseases in the hospital during Eid-ul-Azha. The number of this type of patients are now increasing, he added.
Patients suffering from fever and pain have Covid or dengue test. If they are diagnosed with any of the disease, they do not usually go for the test of the other disease. But the patients should undergo both tests, he added.
HM Nazmul Ahsan, associate professor at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital, said doctors will struggle to handle patients infected with both dengue and Covid-19.
"A dengue patient faces bleeding while a coronavirus patient faces blood clotting. We use an injection of anti-coagulation for coronavirus patients when it is needed to prevent blood clots. But we cannot do it when the same patient also carries dengue virus and his platelet counts remain under one lakh," he explained.
Afsana said dengue corner has already been opened in all public hospitals.
"We are providing free NS1 testing at the dengue corner in all public hospitals and health complexes across the country and a patient will get proper advice after the test. They will be advised where to go for their admission or will be referred to go home with necessary prescription," she said.
Afsana said the government has already started their treatment in six hospitals dedicated for dengue patients and the service has started last week.
The hospitals are: Mitford Hospital, Lalkuthi Maternity Hospital in Mirpur, Kamalapur Railway General Hospital, Kamrangirchar 31-bed hospital, Aminbazar 20-bed hospital and Shaheed Ahsan Ullah Master General Hospital in Tongi.