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Healthcare Ministry updates dengue alert

The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry requested the public to be more vigilant on mosquito breeding grounds and the dengue epidemic these days because the most affected districts have received occasional showers during the past weeks creating an ideal environment for dengue mosquitoes.

The most affected districts are Kandy (2,071 cases and 26 deaths), Colombo (1,996 cases and 18 deaths), Kegalle (1,977 cases and 18 deaths), Gampaha (1,719 cases and 31 deaths) and Kurunegala (1,235 cases and 10 deaths). These areas receive occasional rains. Rain creates the best condition for dengue mosquitoes to breed since they prefer clean water.

The number of dengue patients reported from the country during last month (June)was 5357 and it was 4182 in the month of May. In April 1058 dengue patients were reported. The highest number of persons died from dengue since 2000 is 156 and it is within the last six months.

In 2004 the highest number of dengue patients were reported from Sri Lanka and it was 15463 but only 88 dengue deaths were reported.

According to the WHO symptoms appear 3 to 14 days after the infective bite. Symptoms range from a mild fever, to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain and rash.

There are no specific antiviral medicines for dengue.

It is important to maintain hydration.

Use of acetylsalicylic acid (e.g. aspirin) and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Ibuprofen) is not recommended.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever (fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding) is a potentially lethal complication but early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management increases survival of patients.

 

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