Bangladesh struggles with worst outbreak of dengue fever

Patients receive treatment for dengue at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, July 31, 2019. (AP)
Updated 01 August 2019

Bangladesh struggles with worst outbreak of dengue fever

  • More than 1,400 people have been diagnosed with dengue, the Health Ministry said on Thursday

DHAKA: Bangladesh is grappling with its worst outbreak of dengue fever, with hospitals packed with patients as the disease spreads rapidly in the country.

At least 14 people have died and more than 17,000 have come down with the virus so far this year, according to official figures, making it the deadliest year since the first recorded epidemic in 2000.

More than 1,400 people have been diagnosed with dengue in the past 24 hours alone, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

Local media reported that at least 50 people had died of dengue.

Hospitals in Dhaka are struggling to find space as many with symptoms such as high fever, vomiting and joint pains seek treatment.

The government has launched initiatives to control the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, from awareness campaigns to efforts to kill mosquito larvae, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said. 

“We need concerted effort to tackle the crisis,” he said.

Dengue is common in South Asia, especially during the monsoon season which runs from June to September, and there is no specific treatment, but with early detection and access to proper medical care fewer than 1 percent of sufferers die from the disease.

Globally, the number of dengue cases dropped in 2017-2018, but there has been a sharp increase in 2019, especially in Australia, Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

The dengue virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito which has grown rapidly along with urbanization and globalization because it thrives in tropical mega-cities and is easily spread in goods containing small puddles of water.


US consular staff in Turkey quizzed over video that ‘mocked Islam’

Updated 54 min 2 sec ago

US consular staff in Turkey quizzed over video that ‘mocked Islam’

  • The video, which spread online, showed a women mocking “Zamzam” water
  • The prosecutor said those detained were two employees from the consulate aged 30 and 38

ISTANBUL: Turkish police questioned two local staffers from a US consulate in Turkey Wednesday over a Halloween party video accused of “denigrating religious values,” news agency DHA reported.
The pair, who work at the consulate in the southern city of Adana, were taken in for questioning and later released, the local prosecutor told DHA.
It followed a video, which spread online, showing a women mocking “Zamzam” water, which is considered holy because it is drawn from a well in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
A man, dressed as a pious Muslim, advises her to drink a cocktail.
The prosecutor said those detained were two employees from the consulate aged 30 and 38.
A number of issues have strained relations between Ankara and Washington, including Turkey’s offensive last month against Kurdish militants in Syria, who were a close ally of the US against the Daesh group.
There was also a row over the arrest of several Turks working for US diplomatic outposts following the attempted coup of 2016.
One employee, Metin Topuz from the Istanbul consulate, is still in jail pending his trial on espionage charges.
In January, a staffer at the Adana consulate, Hamza Ulucay, was freed after nearly two years in pre-trial detention over alleged links to the Gulenist movement that Turkey blames for the attempted coup.