25,000 dengue cases identified in 5 months; 9 people lost their lives

Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, director of the National Dengue Control Unit, said that dengue is not only a health problem, but also an economic and social problem and the Ministry of Health alone cannot control the spread of dengue without the full support of the public.

25000 dengue cases identified in 5 months 9 people lost

He further informed that more than 25,000 dengue cases have been reported in the last 5 months of this year and nine people have died due to dengue.

Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, a special physician who participated in a special press conference held at the President’s Media Center today (06), mentioned this.

He also pointed out that taking measures to control the spread of the disease is very important as dengue may escalate to epidemic levels with the current flood situation.

Commenting further, Dr. Kalanidhi Sudath Samaraweera added,

Dengue is a contagious disease irrespective of age and status. Also, although many recover from the disease, it is a life-threatening disease. It is because of this danger that we continue to inform people of the need to control dengue fever. Every year around this time of the year the monsoons come and there is a lot to talk about about dengue.

Accordingly, more than 10,000 cases were reported in January 2024 compared to the epidemic situation at the end of 2023. But that number gradually decreased to only 2234 cases by April. But in May 2647 patients were reported. Accordingly, we expect the number of dengue patients to increase in the future.

Dengue is not just a health problem. It is an economic and social problem. Therefore, the Ministry of Health alone cannot control dengue without the full support of the public. Dengue can be prevented only if all departments of the government and private sectors work together in the country,” he said.

Dr. Anoja Theersinghe, Community Medical Officer, National Dengue Control Unit,

In 2024, 25 417 dengue cases were reported in Sri Lanka. The number of patients has increased especially in the districts of Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Ratnapura, Kandy, Kegala and Kurunegala. The most basic way to prevent dengue is to prevent transmission. For that, it is the responsibility of the general public to remove the places where nits are formed in houses, schools and workplaces.

Also, in case of fever, consult the nearest hospital or qualified doctor within two days and get proper advice. Leave the diagnosis to the doctor. Here, only ‘paracetamol’ tablet should be taken to control the fever,” he mentioned.

Ananda Wijewickrama, Chairman, National Medicines Regulatory Authority and Special Physician, National Institute of Infectious Diseases,

During this period, if symptoms such as high fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, severe headache and diarrhea appear, it is very important to consider it as dengue. If these symptoms are present, physical rest is necessary first. Do not take any medicine other than pain reliever or ‘paracetamol’. Taking other drugs can cause serious complications. If symptoms persist for more than two days, a full blood count (FBC) should be done and medical advice should be sought at a government hospital. After that you can go to the hospital if needed.

In the meantime, you should sip on drinks like water and porridge varieties, Jeevani, water and lemonade. It is also important to avoid drinks that are red in color or contain artificial chemicals. You can control dengue and reduce the severity of the condition if you follow medical advice. In particular, a reduction in fever does not necessarily mean that dengue is cured.

Very young children, diabetics, pregnant mothers, the elderly and the obese are more likely to be affected. It is important that they seek medical advice early on,” he said.

Budhika Mahesh, Consultant and Regional Epidemiologist, Colombo Regional Director of Health Services,

Dengue eradication is very important in the Western Province. Due to the recent rains, additional measures have to be taken. As per the life cycle of the mosquito, it takes 07 days to transform from the mosquito stage to mosquito, so the spread of dengue can be easily controlled by cleaning the surrounding environment once a week. Especially the areas around the relief camps should be made completely free of weeds.

The Office of the District Health Officer provides free medical consultations to control dengue and other infectious diseases. Compared to other years, the number of cases reported in Western Province is less. It is expected to further reduce that level with public support. “The Dengue Control Team established in the Upper Province is using drone technology to identify the dengue mosquitoes and spray them with insecticides,” he said.

Entomologist Shakuntala Janaki, National Dengue Control Unit Dr. N. Arip, Dr. Sunith Kumarapperuma, R. K. S. E. Ranaweera also attended this media meet.

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