Official data reveal that the death toll from Bangladesh’s biggest dengue outbreak on record has surpassed 1,000 this year, with hospitals struggling to make room for patients as the disease spreads swiftly in the densely populated country.
According to the data, at least 1,017 people have died and approximately 209,000 have been infected so far in 2023, making this the deadliest year since the first recorded pandemic in 2000.
The current death toll is roughly four times that of the previous year’s total of 281 dengue-related deaths in Bangladesh.
Hospitals are trying to find space for the enormous number of patients suffering from high fever, joint pain, and vomiting, while intravenous fluids are in short supply, according to health officials.
“I’m not sure how my youngster became infected… He developed a fever all of a sudden. “I rushed him here, and doctors discovered that he has dengue,” Sanwar Hossain told Reuters as he sat with his kid in Dhaka’s Mugda General Hospital.
The hospital’s administrator, Niatuzzaman, stated that while the number of patients from Dhaka has fallen in recent days, the number of persons hospitalized from rural areas of the country has climbed, which he described as a “concerning” indicator.
No specific vaccine or medicine treats dengue, which is frequent in South Asia during the June-September monsoon season because the Aedes aegypti mosquito that causes the disease flourishes in stagnant water.
Rising temperatures and extended monsoon seasons, according to entomologists and epidemiologists, are excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
The increase in infections has forced the government to scale up its anti-dengue campaign, including attempts to eliminate mosquito larvae during a rainy spell, officials said.
According to Kabirul Bashar, an entomologist and zoology professor at Jahangirnagar University, a lack of appropriate preventative measures has allowed the dengue-carrying mosquito to spread throughout Bangladesh.
“From 2000 to 2018, dengue was only found in Dhaka, but in 2019, it has spread to other cities.” This year, it is also being extended to rural areas.”
According to renowned Bangladeshi physician ABM Abdullah, early detection and availability to competent medical care can cut fatalities to less than 1% of victims.