DHAKA – At least 104 people have died from dengue in Bangladesh, with over 93,000 cases reported throughout the country since January, authorities said Monday.
The number of confirmed cases recorded is more than nine times higher than any other year in the South Asian country, which has been struggling to contain the surge of dengue patients.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection, which causes flu-like illness, according to the World Health Organization.
The symptoms include headaches, muscle and joint pains, and body rashes.
Dengue, which is a potentially deadly complication, is transmitted by female mosquitoes mainly of the Aedes species.
According to official data, a total 93,707 cases of the disease have been reported this year, with 217 having suffered from the fever in the last 24 hours up to 8 am on Monday.
The highest number of dengue cases recorded in a single year in Bangladesh was 10,148 in 2018, according the Health Emergency Operations Center.
The center said it had 248 suspected cases of deaths in dengue this year and reviewed 166 of them so far.
“After reviewing the cases we could confirm so far 104 deaths this year,” said Meerjady Sabrina Flora, the director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research.
“But these are not very recent deaths. You know our death reviews are going for a while and we need two to four weeks for each death review,” she said.
Flora said though they are getting new cases still, the situation is under control.
“The big outbreak is now under control. But few cases will be there always. Most of the cases now outside Dhaka,”
Experts warned that the threat will not go until winter comes in November.
“As long as humid weather stays it will stay, you will see some cases. Its very usual. But it will go with the winter,” said Saif Ullah Munshi, a professor of the Department of Virology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in Dhaka.
Munshi said the number of dengue cases is much higher than the figure the authorities provided.
“It’s a tip of iceberg. The usual number is much higher. These are only reported case. Normally 70 to 80 per cent dengue cases remain asymptomatic. These 93,000 people are part of the people who see symptoms,” he said.