43,000 dengue cases by yesterday

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The National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU), of the Health Ministry, revealed that there were a total 43,000 dengue cases in the country by yesterday (21) with a total 8,000 cases being recorded from the beginning of the month of July till date.

Announcing a special dengue control day, 25 July 2022, the Unit said over 52 per cent of dengue cases in the country have been recorded from the Western Province.

According to entomological records, a majority of breeding sites had been detected in government and private institutions, schools, construction sites, factories and public places.

Consultant Community Physician NDCU, Dr. Nimalka Pannila Hetti, when contacted, urged the public to seek medical attention two days after contracting fever. They would have to be clinically diagnosed and referred for treatment. She noted that all dengue patients did not require to get admitted for in-ward care. Those belonging to vulnerable groups, such as pregnant mothers, children, those suffering from comorbidities, with social issues (such as those living alone) and obese persons were instructed to get admitted. Those who are physically fit under normal circumstances may be given home care if they too have not developed any complications such as vomiting, abdominal pain, and a drastic reduction in the platelet count etc. Those who don’t have to get admitted can be kept at home under medical supervision.

However, the clinician should take that decision, she stressed.

Dr. Pannila Hetti further said that on day one, a fever patient should only be given paracetamol. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin, Mefenamic Acid, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac Sodium, Dexamethasone, Prednisolone and Methylprednisolone should not be given to patients.

 Referring to next Monday’s (25) dengue control programme the Consultant Community Physician noted the Unit had written to the Education Secretary to ensure that all schools were free of mosquito breeding sites when schools reopened on that day.

She added that mosquito repellents approved by the Registrar of Pesticides could be used as protection against mosquito bites while at least once a month all government and private institutions, schools, construction sites and factory premises should search and destroy areas where mosquitoes can breed, she added.

According to the NDCU the Colombo Municipal Council area has 7.2 per cent of the cases while the rest of Colombo District has 23.6 per cent. Also Kalutara and Gampaha Districts have 9.3 per cent and 13.1 per cent of the dengue cases respectively.

The Unite added that Kandy had recorded 12.3 per cent while Galle and Ratnapura five per cent each. Kegalle had recorded 5.4 per cent of dengue cases at the end of the 28th week.

By Dilanthi Jayamanne