Dengue Outbreak in Bangladesh: Over 800 Deaths and Rising Cases

Dengue Outbreak in Bangladesh: Over 800 Deaths and Rising Cases

In the past 24 hours, seven patients in Bangladesh have succumbed to dengue fever, with an additional 3,027 admissions to various hospitals reported. This brings the total death toll from dengue infection to 846 between January 1st and September 19th, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

With a staggering 846 deaths this year, 2023 marks the highest number of fatalities from dengue since its detection in Bangladesh in 2000, surpassing the 281 deaths recorded in 2022. Furthermore, the number of confirmed dengue cases has reached 173,795, with 1,62,847 patients already discharged from hospitals.

The capital city, Dhaka, has seen the largest number of dengue hospitalizations, with 849 cases, while 2,178 patients from outside the city have also been admitted to medical facilities. Notably, August 2023 witnessed the highest number of dengue-positive cases in a single month, with 71,976 cases reported nationwide.

Health experts highlight the changing nature of dengue, which was initially concentrated in Dhaka but is now progressively spreading across all 64 districts of Bangladesh. Factors such as global warming and unplanned urbanization contribute to the increased reproductive capacity of the Aedes mosquito, the primary carrier of the dengue virus.

Aedes mosquitoes have undergone morphological, biological, and behavioral changes, making them more efficient transmitters of the dengue virus. Factors such as rising temperatures, increased humidity, and changes in rainfall patterns contribute to the proliferation of mosquitoes. Additionally, urbanization, industrialization, and construction activities disrupt waterways and create breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

The prevalence of dengue cases in Bangladesh has seen a tenfold increase since last year, accompanied by a nearly threefold increase in deaths. In 2019, 1,01,354 cases and 179 deaths were recorded, followed by 1,405 cases and seven deaths in 2020. In 2021, the numbers rose to 28,429 cases and 105 deaths, and in 2022, they reached 62,382 cases and 281 deaths.

The continuous rise in dengue cases and deaths underscores the urgent need for preventive measures and effective control strategies. Public awareness campaigns, mosquito control initiatives, and addressing environmental factors that contribute to mosquito breeding are crucial in combating the dengue outbreak in Bangladesh.

Sources:
– Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS)
– Professor Dr Md Golam Sharower, head of the Department of Entomology, National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM)

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