Sri Lanka faces alarming dengue cases with 120 dead

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COLOMBO, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka’s health officials have warned of a dengue outbreak in the island country as over 120 deaths have been reported so far this year and over 87,000 people affected from at least 11 districts, local media reports said here 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 of the seriousness of the issue as over 10 districts were affected by the rapid spread of the disease.

Continuous rains in many parts of the island was one of the leading reasons for the spread of the virus.

Haritha said that while Colombo, Gampaha, in the outskirts of the capital and Kandy, in the central hills, were the worst affected districts, with 50 percent of the over 87,000 cases reported, for the first time an outbreak of dengue was also reported from the Jaffna District in the north.

In Jaffna alone, 7,000 dengue cases have been reported so far this year.

Medical experts said the number of deaths recorded so far this year was “alarming” as a total of 58 deaths were reported last year.

Medical experts urged people to seek immediate medical attention if they suffer from 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 further 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 programs to eradicate mosquito’s breeding grounds in several districts of the island country.

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