Malaria cases rise to 18

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The number of Malaria cases in the country rose to 18 with the diagnosis of the first Malaria case for this month, Director of the Anti-Malaria Campaign, Dr. Prasad Ranaweera said.

A concerned Dr. Ranaweera said on Friday (13) that the 18 malaria patients had been diagnosed within the 18 weeks of this year. Seventeen (17) of them are from African countries. The most recent case that was diagnosed is an Indian national working in a factory in Medawachchiya, Anuradhapura. He had returned from India three months earlier and had developed a fever recently.

Giving a breakdown of this year’s case detection, Dr. Ranaweera said that five cases had been diagnosed in January, while cases had been detected in February (02), March (05) and April (05) as well.

The AMC Director urged the public to cooperate with the AMC, especially if any member of the public developed a fever after visiting a malaria endemic country.

“Don’t conceal travel details especially under such circumstances.” He urged doctors too to ask patients for travel history to a malaria endemic country.

“Contact your hospital Public Health Laboratory Technicians (PHLT) or the District Regional Malaria Officer for free testing,” he said.

With the current fuel crisis in the country the AMC has to rely largely on its regional offices for timely detection of malaria. Some of the mobile clinics too had to be suspended as a result.    

By Dilanthi Jayamanne