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Bangladesh records 1,000 deaths in record dengue outbreak

October 2, 2023

The South Asian country, where dengue is endemic, is suffering the worst outbreak of the disease in its history.

A hospital ward with patients in Bangladesh
Hospitals in Bangladesh have also begun to admit dengue patients during winter months in recent years Image: Mortuza Rashed/DW

Bangladesh is reeling from its worst-ever outbreak of dengue that has claimed more than 1,000 lives since the start of this year.

The death toll due to the endemic disease has seen a staggering rise in 2023 when compared to last year's 281 deaths.

Data shared by government health officials on Sunday showed that 1,006 people have died since the start of the year, of which 17 were reported in the last 24 hours.

Among the deaths reported, 112 were of children aged 15 and under, including infants, according to the figures provided by the Directorate General of Health Services.

The country's current dengue caseload stands at more than 200,000 confirmed cases.

Record dengue fever outbreak grips Bangladesh

The health agency's former director, Be-Nazir Ahmed, told French news agency AFP that the number of deaths so far this year was greater than the total number of deaths from the disease since the year 2000.

"It's a massive health event, both in Bangladesh and in the world," he added.

Dengue outbreak adds pressure on health system

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that climate change is resulting in the faster and further spread of dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Scientists said that irregular rainfall and hotter temperatures than usual have created the ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed.

In September, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the dengue outbreak was "putting huge pressure on the health system" in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh used to see dengue fever cases during the monsoon season. But now, dengue patients are admitted to hospitals even during winter months.

Although the disease has been recorded in the South Asian country since 1960, the first outbreak was only recorded in 2000. Since then, the situation has deteriorated.

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mfi/ab (AFP, dpa)