Warning of 26 dengue deaths and an increase in infections | Print output


By Nadia Fazlulhaq

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Mists at Summit Flats in Colombo. Image by Indika handuwala

Almost 5,000 people became infected with dengue in the first half of December.

Health authorities are urging people and institutions to keep their surroundings free of mosquito breeding grounds in order to prevent an outbreak in the coming weeks.

People with a high fever are advised to seek immediate medical help and do a complete blood count to check for unusual decreases in cell counts and red and white blood cell counts.

This year, 26 people died of the mosquito-borne disease and 31,198 became infected.

Usually the number of infections and deaths increases after the monsoon rains.

“If you notice an increase in mosquitoes around you, you are at risk. Applying mosquito repellants and minimizing mosquito bites and nets during the day are temporary solutions. Mosquito breeding sites should be removed, ” said Dr. Shilanthi Seneviratne, Community Consultant Physician for the Dengue Control Unit of the Ministry of Health.

There are many mosquito breeding sites in the area, she said, referring to debris, trash, items to collect water, ornaments and ponds, discarded tires, pet bowls, concrete slabs and gutters, air conditioners, refrigerators and fountains.

“Neglected construction sites are a growing problem. Without supervision or spraying of larvicides in places where rainwater collects, a construction site can affect an entire neighborhood. We have instructed the local authorities to keep monitoring the condition of the construction sites, ”she said.

In addition to the municipal council area of ​​Colombo, Ratmalana, Battaramulla, Maharagama, Kahathuduwa, Wethara, Boralesgamuwa, Pitakotte, Nawala, Homagama, Padukka, Moratuwa, Kaduwela, Gothatuwa, Dehiwala, Nugegoda, Kolonnawa and Piliyandala have an increase in dengue patients.

There are a growing number of patients from the Gampaha District. Infections have been reported from Seeduwa, Wattala, Meerigama, Ragama, Minuwangoda, Negombo MC, Mahara, Ja-ela, Gampaha, Biyagama, Attanagalle, Veyangoda, Katana, and Kelaniya.

Muttur in Trincomalee, Wannappuwa in the Puttalam district, Matara, Galle and Kurunegala, Yatinuwara and Meda Dumbara / Meda Mahanuwara in the Kandy district, Beruwala, Panadura, Wadduwa, Horana and Kalutara in the Kalutara district also have more dengue infections.

“Many young people are afraid of going to the hospital for COVID-19. While the majority of COVID-19 deaths are from the elderly, most of the dengue deaths and patients are of school age and the workforce. However, it is important to have a complete blood count on the first day of the fever. Seek medical advice from a qualified doctor immediately, ”advised Dr. Seneviratne.

This week, the cabinet approved President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s proposals to appoint an official in each facility to continue dengue prevention on a permanent basis.

Proposals include making the governors of each province responsible for coordinating dengue prevention at the provincial, district, division, and grassroots level and updating applicable prevention laws.

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