Deadly Dengue Outbreak Grips Bangladesh
The dengue outbreak in Bangladesh has reached unprecedented levels, with hospitals overwhelmed and the death toll rising. The country recorded 24 deaths in a single day last week, the highest on record. At least 1,549 people, including 156 children, have died of the disease this year, with a total of 301,255 cases reported.
Mosammat Mayna, a 23-year-old cleaner at Mugda Hospital, lost her sister, Maria Ratna, to dengue last month. Ratna had been working relentlessly in the dengue ward when she caught the disease. Mayna was offered her sister’s job after her death, despite her fears.
The outbreak is described as an “epidemic” by public health experts, who note that this year’s strain of dengue has proven particularly deadly. The overwhelming prevalence of Den-2 type strain of dengue and its spread to rural areas are cited as the key factors behind the high fatalities. Health experts also believe that climate change is altering the pattern of dengue, causing the Aedes mosquito population to expand its breeding grounds.
Furthermore, insecticides that were once effective in controlling the mosquito population have become ineffective due to resistance developed by the mosquitoes. Experts are urging the government to implement a comprehensive five-year plan to control the spread of dengue and eradicate the Aedes mosquito population.
The outbreak has put a strain on Bangladesh’s fragile healthcare system, with hospitals packed to the brim and patients forced to stay in corridors due to lack of space. With the general election looming, experts worry that the political turmoil in the country may have diverted attention from the dengue crisis.
As the country grapples with the worst-ever dengue outbreak in its history, urgent measures are needed to contain the spread of the disease and protect the population from further devastation.