In Bangladesh, the death rate from dengue has reached its highest point in six years, with a significant number of young people being hospitalized and succumbing to this mosquito-borne viral disease. According to the latest data from the health directorate, the death rate for dengue in 2023 stands at 0.55% as of July 17, a significant increase compared to previous years.
So far this year, dengue has claimed the lives of 114 individuals and led to hospitalizations of 22,467 people across the country. Of particular concern is the fact that 41.22% of the deaths and nearly 50% of hospitalizations are among individuals aged 18 to 40. Experts and healthcare professionals have expressed their alarm at the disproportionately high number of young people affected by dengue this year.
The analysis of the health directorate data reveals that mostly female individuals have died, while males have been predominantly hospitalized among the young population aged 18 to 40. Experts speculate that the increased mobility of young people for work and other purposes may contribute to the higher likelihood of mosquito bites and subsequent dengue infections.
The severity of the disease among young people is evident from the cases of dengue shock syndrome and dengue hemorrhagic fever observed in young females. Further research is required to understand why young women, who generally possess good health and strong immune systems during their reproductive age, are experiencing severe dengue outcomes.
The presence of the DEN-2 serotype, known to cause expanded dengue syndrome affecting various organs, has been identified as a potential factor contributing to the severity of the disease. Additionally, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the immune response and overall health of young individuals requires investigation.
The data further indicates that of the total deaths reported in 2023, 66 were female and 48 were male. Deaths were observed across different age groups, with the highest percentages in individuals aged between 40 and 60 and those over 60.
Late hospitalization and the presence of underlying health conditions were identified as contributing factors to the fatalities. The need for prompt medical attention, especially within the first 48 hours after the fever subsides, cannot be overstated.
The rapid increase in dengue infections is cause for concern, with 14,489 patients being hospitalized and 67 deaths recorded in just 17 days of July. Public health officials and experts have emphasized the urgent need for controlling the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes, which transmit the dengue virus.
Efforts to contain mosquito breeding grounds must be intensified to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. The data underscores the importance of robust prevention and control measures, including public awareness campaigns, proper waste management, and the implementation of targeted interventions to mitigate the impact of dengue, particularly among the young population.
It is imperative that authorities and stakeholders take immediate action to address the dengue outbreak, focusing on vector control, healthcare access, and community engagement. Only through concerted efforts can Bangladesh effectively combat dengue and protect the health and well-being of its population.