(CTN News) – An outbreak of dengue fever is causing hospitals in Bangladesh to struggle to accommodate patients as the disease spreads rapidly throughout the densely populated country.
So far in 2023, at least 293 people have died and nearly 61,500 have been infected. The official figures indicate that this is the deadliest year since the epidemic started in 2000, when there were 293 deaths and nearly 61,500 infections.
It has been reported that hospitals, especially in the capital Dhaka, are struggling to find enough space for the large number of patients who are suffering from high fever, joint pains, and vomiting.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said that the government has launched initiatives in order to reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, including awareness campaigns and efforts to kill mosquito larvae following a spell of rain.
When we arrived here, the doctors and nurses told us that they were not able to provide us with a proper bed, but if we stayed, then they would be able to provide us with proper treatment,” Shariful Islam said as he watched over his family members in a government hospital in Dhaka.
In South Asia, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads dengue, thrives in stagnant water during the monsoon season, from June to September, when the Aedes aegypti mosquito flourishes during the monsoon season. There is no vaccine or drug specifically designed to treat dengue.
It is expected that the number of cases will increase throughout the month of August and September, according to experts.
As of now, this year’s number of deaths has already surpassed the previous record of 281 deaths from last year, and the number of people infected is just behind the 62,423 cases of 2022 which set a new record.
It has been proven that early detection and access to proper medical care can reduce the death rate to less than 1 percent among sufferers.
In April, when the premonsoon rains began, so did the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes.
The virus had already spread within the community by then, which meant that it was also being transmitted by this mosquito population.” said Kabirul Bashar, professor of entomology at Jahangirnagar University.
As a result of this, we saw such a high number of dengue cases in July. It is very likely that this rate of dengue cases will continue to rise in August and September.”
A senior health and nutrition advisor for Save the Children, Dr Yasir Arafat, said: “Across Asia, extreme weather events are causing children’s lives to become a mess, and these alarming outbreaks of severe dengue are just one of a number of issues affecting their physical and mental well-being.”