Bangladesh’s worst dengue outbreak: over 1,000 deaths in record epidemic

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More than 1,000 people in Bangladesh have died of dengue fever since the start of the year, official figures showed, in the country’s worst recorded outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease.

Figures from the country’s Directorate General of Health Services published on Sunday night said 1,006 people had died, among more than 200,000 confirmed cases.

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The agency’s former director Be-Nazir Ahmed told AFP that the number of deaths so far this year was higher than every previous year combined from 2000, when Bangladesh recorded its first dengue outbreak.

“It’s a massive health event, both in Bangladesh and in the world,” he added.

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last month the outbreak was “putting huge pressure on the health system” in Bangladesh.

Dengue is a disease endemic to tropical areas that causes high fevers, headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain and, in the most serious cases, bleeding that can lead to death.

The WHO has warned that dengue and other diseases, caused by mosquito-borne viruses such as chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika, are spreading faster and further due to climate change.

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