Dengue hits new low but can escalate
Suspected dengue cases islandwide have slumped drastically over the
past one month Epidemiology Unit sources told the Sunday Observer. At
least six districts which recorded an incidence above the 500 mark have
plunged four fold between July 31 and August 13, Health Ministry sources
In Colombo, which registered 2,953 cases of suspected dengue in July,
it tumbled to 398 in August. The Gampaha district which had 285 cases at
July end, was down to 124 as of yesterday (August 13) : Kandy dropped
from 1,167 to 146, Galle fell from 447 to a mere 24, Matara dropped from
280 to 44, Jaffna fell from 225 in July end to 49 on August 13,
Kurunegala which had 583 cases in July dropped to just 70 cases while
Ratnapura which had zoomed to 654 suspected cases by July end now stood
The Municipal Council Colombo area also registered a sharp drop in
cases from 583 in July to 53 cases this month.
"This islandwide reduction is due to our mosquito control activities
which include case base fogging and source reduction," Community
Physician, National Dengue Control Unit, Dr Preshilla Samaraweera said.
However, she warned that there could be a surge in the deadly disease
which has no vaccine as yet, unless efforts to eliminate sites which
attracted the dengue carrying vector, were not sustained.
"Over a thousand patients are being admitted to our hospitals each
week with suspected dengue. We need to halve this number, so that the
doctors will cope with the number of admissions ", she noted.
Since 51 % of cases have been reported from the Western Province, she
said from August 26 - 29, a special dengue reduction programme would be
held in the Western Province, targeting mainly school children who were
most at risk. From September 27-October 3 an all island National Dengue
Prevention programme will be conducted ahead of the North East monsoons.
Meanwhile, authorities in some state hospitals said their special
dengue wards were already overcrowded.