New evidence on Dengue surfaces as number of patients increases (Special Report)

New evidence on Dengue surfaces as number of patients increases (Special Report)

Written by News 1st

02 Jun, 2014 | 6:29 am

A majority of Dengue cases have been reported in the Western Province. However, four other provinces are at risk of Dengue spreading to an epidemic level

Chief Epidemiologist at the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Paba Palihawadana says that the Nuwara Eliya District alone has been identified as a low risk zone.

Over the past five months 11,106 suspected Dengue patients have been reported from the country with 60% being report from the Western Province.

Month

Number of Patients

January

3605

February

1986

March

1602

April

1614

May

2299

There are four stages through which the Dengue virus can be clearly identified and spread by the Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquitoes.

There is a risk of Dengue spreading as a epidemic in South East Asian Countries including Sri Lanka.

The Ministry of Health says that an increased number of dengue patients are reported during the months of June, July and November, December – which are the months after the monsoon season

On Saturday, research by the University of Keleniya highlighted a change in the active pattern of the Dengue mosquito. Speaking in this regard, Prof. Deepika Amarasinghe of the Department of Zoology at the University of Kelaniya stated:

“What we used to know earlier is that the Dengue mosquito is active from 7 a.m to 9 a.m and from 3 p.m to 5 p.m. However, the research that we have conducted goes to show that the mosquito is active from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 2-4 in the evening. So,there is a change in the active pattern of the mosquito. So far, we were only aware that the Filaria mosquito breeds in waste water. However, there is a spread of Dengue mosquito larvae in unclean water in addition to Filaria mosquito larvae. We have seen mosquito larvae spreading in paddy fields and wells.”

The Ministry of Health says that Dengue continues to spread within the Western Province as an epidemic. The National Dengue Control Unit has taken measures to distribute chemical supplies to areas that at high risk of Dengue, in a bid to destroy Dengue mosquito larvae.

The Ministry of Health pointed out that the increase number of mosquito breeding grounds, and unclean households have attributed to the increase in Dengue patients during the past month.

The News1st team toured the city of Colombo and its suburbs on Sunday to witness the claims made by the Ministry of Health.

One hundred and twelve (112) Dengue patients are receiving in-house treatment at the National Hospital in Colombo at present. Deputy Director at the Hospital, Dr. Siril De Silva said that twenty five patients are suffering from Dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Meanwhile, the number of patients being admitted to the Colombo South Teaching Hospital has gradually increased.

Director of the Hospital Dr. Asela Gunawardena said that 180 persons including two nurses were receiving in-house treatment at the hospital as of Saturday night. Seventy-Five (75) children who had contracted the Dengue virus are receiving treatment at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital.

Around 100 Dengue patients are receiving treatment at the IDH Hospital and among them are one PHI officer and two junior staff attached to the hospital.

Meanwhile, a doctor who had contracted the virus is receiving treatment at the East Colombo Base Hospital.

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