Health authorities in Bangladesh have recorded 1,006 deaths since New Year’s, a number higher than in all previous years combined since 2000, when the country’s first dengue outbreak was recorded.
Specifically, 1,006 people have died from dengue fever since the beginning of the year, according to official figures, in the country’s worst outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease ever recorded.
According to the data released yesterday, Sunday (01.10.2023), in the evening by the general directorate of the country’s health services, 1,006 people have died out of the more than 200,000 confirmed cases since the beginning of the year.
According to the former director of health services Be-Nazir Ahmed, “this is a very important health event, both for Bangladesh and for the whole world”.
Bangladesh has been recording cases since the 1960s, but in 2000 it experienced its first outbreak of dengue hemorrhagic fever.
What is dengue fever?
Dengue fever is a disease endemic to tropical regions and causes high fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, myalgias and in the most severe cases, bleeding that can lead to death.
A total of 112 children under the age of 15, including infants, are among those who succumbed to the disease this year, according to official figures.
The number of deaths this year breaks the previous record set in 2022, when the disease killed 281 people.
Scientists attribute this year’s outbreak to erratic rainfall and higher temperatures during the annual monsoons, which create ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes.
The virus that causes the disease is now endemic in Bangladesh, which has seen a trend of worsening outbreaks since the turn of the century.
The majority of cases are recorded during the monsoons of July to September, which are the months that bring the vast majority of the country’s annual rainfall, as well as occasional floods and landslides.
It also spreads in winter
However, for some years now, hospitals in Bangladesh have started accepting patients suffering from the disease during the winter months.
The dengue wards of Dhaka’s main hospitals are today packed with patients who are being treated in beds with mosquito nets under the anxious gaze of their relatives.
Dengue fever and other diseases caused by mosquito-borne viruses are spreading faster and further due to climate change, the WHO has warned.
“The epidemic is putting a huge strain on the health system” of Bangladesh, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last month at an online news conference.
Also in September, the agency’s director of vigilance and response Abdi Mahamoud said that other countries will face such outbreaks with global warming and that global solidarity is needed.
An epidemic of this kind is like “the canary in the coal mine of climate change,” he added, likening it to the canary that serves to warn miners of great danger inside the mines.
According to him, a combination of factors, including climate change and the El Niño weather phenomenon, have contributed to the emergence of severe dengue fever epidemics in many parts of the world, including Bangladesh and South America.
Sub-Saharan African countries such as Chad have also recently reported outbreaks, he added.
information: APE – BEE / photos: Reuters
The article Bangladesh: Dengue fever sweeps with over 1,000 deaths and 200,000 cases was published on NewsIT .