Dhaka/Geneva: As of August 27, 2023, a total of 1,19,133 cases of dengue and 569 deaths due to the endemic have been reported from all 64 districts of Bangladesh. This makes it the largest outbreak of dengue ever reported in the country in terms of the number of reported cases including deaths and the nationwide spread. Between August 1 and 27, 2023 alone, 297 deaths were recorded in the country. The scale, urgency and seasonality have also brought additional pressure on the health system.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stated today that it is leading partners to support the national authorities to mount a coordinated response to the outbreak. It brought out a situation report (SITREP) summarizing the status of the outbreak and some of the support being provided.
Dengue is endemic in Bangladesh with yearly increases and peaks in the reported number of cases and deaths around the monsoon season. This year, the upsurge in cases started earlier (around the last week of April) compared to previous years.
The outbreak of the endemic has posed a significant public health challenge as the reported cases, admissions, and deaths remain substantial and put significant pressure on the healthcare system.
Serotyping of 325 samples in 2023 by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control And Research and National Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Referral Centre, Dhaka, Dengue Virus-2 (DENV-2) (62%) and DENV-3 (29%) and DENV-2+3 (10%) was identified as the circulating serotypes.
WHO stated today that along with its partners, it was supporting the national authorities to mount a coordinated response to the outbreak. It informed that it has drafted a rapid response plan with the contributions of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Bangladesh, and partner agencies by identifying current gaps and challenges.
UNICEF, too, is supporting the Management Information System (MIS) of the DGHS for enhanced dengue data visualization while the Communicable Disease Control (CDC) of DGHS requested further support on data management at the Health Emergency Operation Centres (HEOC).
-global bihari bureau