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Roundup: Climate change blamed as dengue still rampant in Bangladesh

by Naim-Ul-Karim

DHAKA, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Nine Bangladeshis died from dengue fever on Thursday, the highest number since January, which raised the official death toll from the mosquito-borne disease to 161 this year.

The South Asian country has witnessed a significant spike in dengue cases, with 2,959 cases reported in the first three days of this month, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) under the Ministry of Health.

While 20 deaths were reported so far in November, there were 86 deaths in October, 34 in September, 11 in August, nine in July and one in June, the DGHS said.

In severe cases, dengue can cause joint pain, nausea, vomiting, rashes, breathing problems, hemorrhaging and organ failure.

The June-September monsoon period is the season of dengue fever in Bangladesh, which is considered a high-risk nation for the disease.

The majority of the reported cases occurred in the capital Dhaka.

A total of 882 fresh dengue cases, including 498 in Dhaka, were reported in the 24 hours till 8:00 a.m. local time Thursday.

In October, 21,932 dengue cases were recorded, after 9,911 people were infected with the mosquito-borne disease in September, according to the DGHS.

It has recorded 40,983 dengue cases and 37,146 recoveries so far this year.

Bangladeshi Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday stressed the need for strengthening preventive measures, saying controlling dengue is difficult without public awareness.

As the weather is different than before due to climate change, he said, dengue outbreak is still rampant amid intermittent rains in the country, making things more difficult.

Apart from Bangladesh, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam have also been affected by dengue because of climate change, he said.

The minister added that the government is working sincerely to deal with the current dengue situation in the country. .