Dengue has snuffed out 30 lives so far this year

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Health Ministry yesterday revealed that over 9,939 suspected dengue cases had been recorded in the country so far this year.

Spokesman for the Health Ministry, Dharma Wanninayake said that 52 percent of them were from the Western Province. The dengue death toll within the period had been 30, he said, adding that delays in seeking proper medication had caused those deaths. The number of dengue cases reported from several districts including Ratnapura was on the increase owing to the intermittent rains experienced in several parts of the country.

Wanninayake said that dengue deaths could be reduced if patients with fever and symptoms such as head ache, pain under the eyes, nausea, muscle and joint pain were given treatment as early as possible. He warned that care givers should be extra watchful when the fever started going down as it could lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). Continuous  stomach pain, vomiting, coldness of hands and feet, bleeding gums, irritation, paleness were symptoms of DHF and patients with them must be treated as soon as possible.  

The spokesman said that adults over 70 years, overweight persons, pregnant mothers and patients with congenital disease were more vulnerable than others and should be more cautious and they should seek prompt treatment if fever lasted for more than two days. 

In comparison the Epidemiological unit revealed that over 11,820 dengue cases reported in the first four months of last year. Last year, too, over 50 percent of the cases had been reported from the Western Province, it said. 

Meanwhile, several cases of dengue were reported from Nawala (three cases from Senanayake Mawatha) and several areas belonging to the Kotte Municipal Council. However, the health authorities of the Council were unable to provide accurate data regarding the prevailing situation.

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