A total of 350 people died of dengue in Bangladesh in the 26 days of September—the highest death toll in a month in 23 years since 2000 when the government started keeping records of dengue deaths and hospitalisations.
The dengue deaths in September, the month with still four days to go, passed the tally of 342 deaths recorded in August, the previous highest death in a single month in the country’s history.
The dengue hospitalisation and death trend in the ongoing endemic is the worst in 23 years, as 15 more people died of the virus and 3,123 were hospitalised in the past 24 hours, ending at 8:00am on Tuesday.
Including the latest, a total of 943 people died and 193,881 were hospitalised across the country since January this year, according to a press release of the Directorate General of Health Services.
Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research former entomologist Touhid Uddin Ahmed said that the dengue situation would prolong more because rain continued to pour, creating a favourable condition for mosquito breeding.
‘Until rain stops, the dengue situation will not come down,’ he said.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University’s former vice chancellor and virologist, Nazrul Islam, said that dengue deaths were increasing because of the virus’s spread to villages.
‘We are seeing a high number of deaths this year because dengue has spread now in all parts of the country. In the past, the outbreak was limited to mostly urban areas,’ he said.
Among the total deaths, 617 people died in the capital, Dhaka, and 326 elsewhere in the country, according to DGHS data. However, in the past 24 hours, while five people died of dengue in Dhaka, DGHS reported 10 deaths outside the capital.
On Tuesday, at least 10,156 dengue patients, including 3,581 in Dhaka city, were undergoing treatment at public and private health facilities in the country.
Public health officials and experts had earlier warned that the dengue situation might get out of control this year unless the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes was controlled.
In terms of both dengue deaths and hospitalisations, this year broke all previous records.
The dengue outbreak was first officially reported in the country in 2000, when 5,551 people were hospitalised and 93 died, according to the DGHS.