Bangladesh dengue outbreak is 'worst ever'

One thousand new cases uncovered in just 24 hours

Jon Sharman
Tuesday 30 July 2019 18:31 BST
An aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured on a leaf. The species is known to spread Zika, dengue, and yellow fever.
An aedes aegypti mosquito is pictured on a leaf. The species is known to spread Zika, dengue, and yellow fever. (Reuters)

A dengue outbreak afflicting Bangladesh has reportedly been deemed the worst on record after 1,000 people were infected in a single day.

Since the start of the year, more than 13,000 people have been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne disease, leading officials to launch a massive public information campaign.

Some 22,000 diagnosis kits have been sent out, adverts have been placed in newspapers and leaflets, and major surveys have been carried out to map insect populations, according to a government report.

“Since we started keeping record of dengue cases, which is from 2000, this is the worst dengue outbreak we have seen in Bangladesh," Ayesha Akhter, assistant director of the health services directorate, told CNN.

Around 1,000 new cases were reportedly uncovered in just 24 hours at the beginning of this week. Eight people have died, the government report said.

Dengue is transferred to humans through bites of the female Aedes aegypti mosquito.

“The incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades”, according to the World Health Organisation.

Severe dengue affects most Asian and Latin American countries and has become a leading cause of hospitalisation and death among children and adults in these regions, it states on its website.

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The illness has flu-like symptoms including a high fever, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains and rashes.

Bangladesh’s government has moved to open dengue help-desks in all hospitals as part of its campaign to combat the disease.

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