Health Ministry intensifies measures

*sudden outbreak of allergies among students



By Dilanthi Jayamanne


The Health Ministry has intensified measures to identify the reason for the sudden outbreak of allergies among students in at least four districts.


Health Ministry sources said yesterday that the Medical Research Institute (MRI) was testing the soil samples taken from all affected areas.


A progress review meeting is scheduled for today (21) to assess the situation and discuss the findings of several teams despatched by the Ministry to affected areas. Reassuring the public that allergies were not contagious, they said that water, food, air and the atmosphere in class rooms were being tested. However, sources said they were unable to comment on the issue till the review meeting was over.


Seven students of Anuruddha Balika Vidyalaya, Dematagoda were admitted to the Lady Ridgeway Children’s Hospital yesterday morning after complaining of itching. Hospital Director, Dr. Ratnasiri Hewage said however that despite complaints there had not been an urticarial rash condition, only the normal red patches seen when children play in the sun. However, the children were examined by doctors at the OPD while they were also referred to Consultant Dermatologist Prof. Jayamini Seneviratne for further examination.


Dr. Hewage said that the Regional Epidemiologist also had been informed of the situation. Authorities of the Health Ministry and Epidemiological Unit have also been informed. The children were quite normal, he said and were sent home. He urged school principals to inform the closest doctor or MOH to prevent panic among students and parents. Awareness should also be created among students and parents regarding these allergies, Dr. Hewage said.


While several students from Monaragala Athimale Vidyalaya were admitted to the Athimale Rural Hospital with symptoms of the allergy on Monday (19) a large number of students from Gampola, Balangoda and Kandy also suffered similar symptoms from last week.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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