The death toll from Bangladesh’s worst dengue outbreak on record has topped 1,000 this year, official data showed, with hospitals struggling to make space for patients as the disease spreads rapidly in the densely-populated country.
At least 1,017 people have died so far in 2023 and nearly 209,000 infected, the data showed, making this the deadliest year since the first recorded epidemic in 2000.
The current death toll is nearly four times more than the whole of last year, when Bangladesh recorded 281 dengue-related deaths.
Hospitals are struggling to find space for the large number of patients suffering high fever, joint pain and vomiting while there is a shortage of intravenous fluids, health officials said.
“I don’t know how my son was infected … suddenly he became feverish. I rushed him here and then doctors found out that he has dengue,” Sanwar Hossain said as he watched his son in Mugda General Hospital in the capital Dhaka.
There is no vaccine or drug that specifically treats dengue, which is common in South Asia during the June-to-September monsoon season as the Aedes aegypti mosquito which spreads the disease thrives in stagnant water.