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Dengue death toll crosses 1200-mark in Bangladesh

Bangladesh exceeded 1,200 dengue deaths as 16 new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours till 8am Wednesday, while 2,495 were admitted to different hospitals during the same period.

On September 20, Bangladesh witnessed 21 dengue deaths, the highest in a single day this year and it also saw the same highest figure on September 2.

“The death toll from dengue infection crossed the 1200-mark as the authorities recorded 1,206 dengue deaths between January 1 this year and October 18,” a press release from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.

“During the period, 574 dengue patients were hospitalised in Dhaka city while 1,921 were admitted to different hospitals outside it,” the DGHS daily statement added.

“This year, 1,206 deaths, the highest in a year since dengue was detected in 2000, were reported from dengue disease while 281 died last year,” the statement said.

With the new cases, the total number of patients rose to 2,47,193 the statement said, adding: “This year, some 2,37,688 patients were released from different hospitals out of the total patients.”

“A total of 8,299 dengue patients are undergoing treatment at different hospitals. Of them, 2,468 are in Dhaka while 5,831 are outside of the capital city,” it added.

The authorities have recorded the highest number of dengue-positive cases outside Dhaka in August this year, meaning the mosquito disease gripped the entire country.

August witnessed 71,976 dengue-positive cases, the highest cases in a single month since the dengue outbreak began in 2000 in the country, while 342 dengue-related deaths were reported in the current month, the DGHS statement said.

According to health experts, the vector-borne disease hit Dhaka city in 2000 subsequently dengue-positive cases were detected in Dhaka city only. But the dengue disease is changing its nature and it is gradually spreading across the country, they said, adding: “All 64 districts of the country have witnessed positive dengue cases.”

July alone recorded 43,854 dengue-positive cases with 204 deaths, the DGHS statement read.

As of October 1, the authorities recorded 79, 598 dengue positive cases while 316 deaths from the mosquito-borne disease during the same period.

The prevalence of dengue cases in Bangladesh has increased ten times since last year and the deaths have increased almost thrice, according to a health expert.

“Dengue-positive cases have increased ten times and death three times between mid-September, 2022 and mid-September, 2023,” Professor Dr Md Golam Sharower, Head, Department of Entomology, National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine (NIPSOM) told a seminar recently.

While presenting the keynote paper, Sharower explained that with global warming, our country’s environmental factors such as temperature, relative humidity and rainfall are increasing, all of which play a key role in increasing the reproductive capacity of the Aedes mosquito.

He said there are unplanned urbanization, industrialization and ancillary activities such as construction of multi-storied buildings blocking waterways, dumping old cars and turning cities into mosquito sanctuaries.

The morphological, biological and behavioural changes that have occurred in Aedes mosquitoes as a result of all our unknown activities in mosquito breeding are highly favourable for Aedes mosquitoes to transmit dengue virus, he elaborated.

According to the DGHS, Bangladesh reported 1,01,354 dengue cases, the second highest since dengue cases were detected in 2000, in 2019, 1,405 cases in 2020, 28,429 cases in 2021 and 62,382 cases in 2022.

It also added that Bangladesh recorded 179 dengue-related deaths in 2019, seven deaths in 2020, 105 deaths in 2021 and 281 deaths, the second highest deaths, in 2022.