Dengue kills 120 in Sri Lanka, affects over 87,000 others

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Dec 16 (ANI): A severe dengue outbreak has claimed the lives of at least 120 people and affected over 87,000 others across 11 districts in the island country, health officials said here on Monday. Secretary of the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) Haritha Aluthge told the local Daily Mirror that the GMOA had informed new Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and the Secretary to the Ministry of Health about the seriousness of the issue as over 10 districts were affected by the rapid spread of the disease. The continuous rains in many parts of the island were considered as one of the leading reasons for the spread of the virus. Haritha was quoted as saying that while Colombo, Gampaha, in the outskirts of the capital city, as well as Kandy, in the central hills, were the worst affected districts, with almost 50 per cent of the total cases reported. The case of the outbreak was reported from the Jaffna district in the northern region of the country. In Jaffna alone, 7,000 dengue cases have been reported so far this year. Medical experts said that the number of deaths recorded so far this year was "alarming," in comparison to 58 deaths reported last year. Medical experts further urged the people to seek immediate attention if they suffered symptoms of high fever, uncontrolled vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and reduced urinary. "All fever patients need rest and should refrain from attending work or school," said epidemiologists, adding that dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) can be fatal. Medical experts also urged pregnant women to seek hospital admission immediately on the first day of fever. Last year, over 48,000 people were affected by the mosquito-borne virus in Sri Lanka, with the National Dengue Control Unit launching several programmes to eradicate mosquito's breeding grounds in several districts of the island country. (ANI)

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