WHO flags rising dengue epidemic in Bangladesh with over 300 deaths

Geneva, Aug 8 (EFE).- The World Health Organization on Tuesday warned of a sharp rise in dengue cases in Bangladesh, with the virus killing at least 303 people and infecting nearly 64,000 people in the country between Jan. 1 and Aug. 5, 2023.

WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said in a press briefing in Geneva that both weekly deaths and cases of dengue in Bangladesh in June and July had been consistently higher than the same months during the past five years.

The spokesperson stressed the importance of the United Nations health agency working together with local authorities in the South Asian nation and other partners and groups such as the UNICEF, to identify epicenters of the outbreak and adopt measures such as using communication material for the local population.

In this regard, Lindmeier highlighted that the WHO was already in the process of supplying 100,000 testing kits to the Bangladeshi people to prevent a further surge in cases, with special attention to minors at risk.

He acknowledged that extremely high temperatures and unusual weather conditions linked to climate change may have triggered a rise in the transmission of dengue, as these factors facilitate the breeding of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for spreading the viral disease.

The WHO spokesperson stressed that none of the four variants of the virus currently had specific treatments available and therefore the monitoring capacity of authorities was vital to considerably reducing mortality rates due to serious cases of dengue.

Lindmeier said that dengue prevention and control basically depended on controlling the spread of cases and early detection. EFE


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