Dhaka [Bangladesh]: More than 1,000 people in Bangladesh have died of dengue fever in 2023, shows official data, Al Jazeera reported.
The deaths reported are nearly four times more than in the whole of last year.
At least 1,017 people have died in the first nine months of 2023 and nearly 209,000 have become infected, making it Bangladesh’s worst recorded outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease since the first tallied epidemic in 2000. Among the dead are 112 children aged 15 and under, including infants.
The country’s hospitals are struggling to make space for patients as the disease spreads rapidly in the densely populated South Asian country.
Dengue is a disease endemic to tropical areas and causes high fevers, headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain and, in the most serious cases, bleeding that can lead to death.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that dengue and other diseases caused by mosquito-borne viruses, such as chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika, are spreading faster and further due to climate change.
There is no vaccine or drug that specifically treats dengue, which is common in South Asia during the June-to-September monsoon season as the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads the disease thrives in stagnant water.
Hospitals in Bangladesh have in recent years begun to admit patients suffering from the disease during winter months. Those with repeat infections are at greater risk of complications.
Bangladesh has recorded cases of dengue from the 1960s, but documented its first outbreak of dengue haemorrhagic fever, a severe and sometimes fatal symptom of the disease, in 2000.
The virus that causes the disease is now endemic to Bangladesh, which has seen a trend of worsening outbreaks since the turn of the century, as per Al Jazeera.