Brace for dengue

Published : 9:04 am  June 22, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (569) reads | 

Untitled-1There were 587 dengue patients per 100,000 in the Colombo District, Colombo Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ruwan Wijeymuni told the Daily Mirror yesterday.


Updating the media on the status of the epidemic in the city, Dr. Wijeymuni said that according to statistics, the Colombo City would have 421 dengue patients per 100,000 of the resident population.


“However, there had only been 2,740 patients reported from the city. Which is much less than is expected and is an indication that we have controlled the epidemic to some degree,” he said.


Reading out statistics, the CMO stated that there were 298 dengue patients per 100,000 of population across the country. 


However, with at least 45 percent of the patients being reported from Western Province, statistics showed there were 448 dengue patients per 100,000 in the Province.


With at least 200 deaths reported due to the epidemic, 50 percent of which was reported from the Western Province, the three deaths reported from Colombo City was a relief. 

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“We can’t say that we are happy about the situation but there aren’t many deaths reported from the city,” he said.


Health sources reported 61,000 dengue patients for the first six months of the year, while 51,000 patients were reported in 2016. 
The country was dealing with the highest number of dengue patients ever reported in its history, Dr. Wijeymuni said.


The number of potential dengue breeding grounds had to be reduced to ensure there is no outbreak. “If we inspected one hundred houses, 10 to 12 percent of the houses would have potential breeding areas, this has to be brought down to 5 to 6 percent,” he said.
At least two percent of the residential areas, was also found to have dengue larvae, which again should be brought down to one percent. 


“These numbers are much higher in some areas in Kalutara and Gampaha,” the CMO said.


However, the solution to the dengue epidemic was not the reduction in breeding grounds and larvae but eradication of it.


Explaining the unique features of the epidemic, Dr. Wijeymuni stated that many of the patients reported this year were below the age of 18. “When the epidemic first began it affected the children and then the elderly, but it seems the fever is affecting children once again,” he said.


Fifty two percent of the patients reported with the fever were below the age of 18. 


“The public seem to have forgotten the initial measures we took to ensure children would not be affected by the fever. 


Measures, such as wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants and using mosquito repellents are some simple measures that can be taken,” he said. Speaking of measures taken to eradicate dengue breeding grounds, Dr. Wijeymuni stated that officials fumigated areas which had reported high number of dengue patients.


He said that houses had been inspected with warning given when potential dengue breeding grounds were found and legal action taken during extreme cases.


“Filing legal action is not our main aim, but we have been forced to do so in some cases,” the CMO said.


When compared to previous years the number of dengue patients had not reduced during February and March but had continued to increase. 


“The peak period for dengue is June and July and November and December. This time we had to deal with an increasing number of patients from the beginning of the year and we can see signs of it increasing now as well,” he said.


The CMO also stated that 86,639 residents had been inspected with 8,216 potential breeding grounds and 897 breeding 
grounds found.