7 more swine flu cases brings total to 16
Seven more cases of swine flu have been identified by the IEDCR, bringing the number of confirmed infections in Bangladesh to 16, an official said Wednesday.
Divisional health directorate chiefs have been asked to attend a meeting in Dhaka Thursday to plan measurers to combat the spread of the virus, Prof Mahmudur Rahman, director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Disease Control and Research, told bdnews24.com.
"Three cases were confirmed Tuesday night, while four others were identified Wednesday. They are aged between two and 46," said Rahman.
The directorate of health has also asked private TV stations to broadcast public information programmes in a bid to halt the progress of the disease, said Rahman.
Five of the new cases were contracted within Bangladesh, although the majority of swine flu cases in Bangladesh arrived from the USA and Australia, he said.
Senior IEDCR official Mushtaq Hossain said now the virus was being transmitted within the country more stringent measures were required to contain the disease.
"The virus found here appears to have a lower mortality rate than that found in the USA and Mexico," said Hossain.
According to the latest data, approximately 77,000 cases have been detected in 70 countries worldwide, with 332 fatalities on record.
WHO declared a swine flu pandemic on June 1, while the health ministry confirmed the first case in Bangladesh on June 19.
Hossain said influenza can spread very quickly in Bangladesh, particularly in Dhaka where the high population density provides a perfect breeding ground.
The disease is at level-1 in Bangladesh for now, as the cases are found scattered. Level-2 is declared if more than one infected is found in a family.
Incoming passengers are being examined at Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet airports, Chittagong and Mongla seaports and 11 land ports as a protection measure.
Around 60,000 travellers have been screened so far with specimen taken from 60 for examination.
Symptoms of the virus include fever with high temperature and respiratory problems.
The IEDCR advises schools and offices to grant leave to anyone who displays symptoms of the virus.
It also advises people to refrain from spitting and regular hand washing to curb spread of the virus.