With the rapid increase in cases and deaths due to dengue and H1N1 influenza, the Health Ministry has issued health warnings for 11 districts in three provinces.
The Western, Southern and the North provinces – Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Ratnapura and Kegalle districts – are being kept alert by the Dengue Control Unit with the death toll due to dengue rising to 53 since January 2017 and also deaths being attributed to H1N1.
According to the Epidemiology Unit, over 27,898 cases of dengue have been reported during the last three months from the 11 districts. The number of dengue cases reported last month was 9,004 and it was a threefold increase when compared to the figures in the same month last year, in which 2,696 cases of dengue were reported.
The prevailing unusual weather conditions are contributing towards rising deaths due to dengue and H1N1 influenza, health officials warned yesterday. With the death toll due to dengue rising to 53 in three months and the number of cases increasing to 27,898, the Dengue Control Unit has issued health warnings to 11 districts. Over 55,150 dengue-related cases were reported in the country with 90 deaths last year.
Medical Research Institute (MRI) sources confirmed that the three deaths which were reported in three provinces last week were due to Influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B (H1N1).
According to MRI , the recorded number of H1N1 is higher than the H3N2, this month and there is a global trend of H1N1 actively prevailing in parts of North America, Asia, South Asia and also some parts of Europe.
However, with over 400 cases of H1N1 reported from the North and with two deaths in Kandy, the surveillances for H1N1 patients at the quarantine division of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) has strengthen its surveillances, especially for passengers from the Maldives, where a rapid increase in H1N1 cases were reported.
The flu-like illness H1N1 influenza is a communicable disease which spreads through coughing, touching and sneezing.
The epidemiologists advises seeking medical advice if a person has symptoms that may include fever, sore throat, cough, muscle aches, headache, chills, fatigue, a runny or stuffy nose, vomiting and diarrhoea. When exposed to the virus the person will have these for three to five days and they can also last for eight days but it becomes fatal when it develops into pneumonia. (SS)