Public support needed to prevent dengue epidemic | Sunday Observer
Medi snips:

Public support needed to prevent dengue epidemic

30 January, 2022

The Health Ministry’s Dengue Control Unit last week warned that the number of dengue cases being reported in the country is increasing gradually and is now becoming an epidemic. Dr Indika Weerasinghe from the National Dengue Control Unit was quoted as telling the media at a press briefing at the Government Information Department that around 5,106 dengue cases were reported in January this year, adding that over 9,000 dengue patients were reported in December last year.

He said that the number of dengue cases being reported in the Colombo and Gampaha districts had also increased rapidly. According to him the situation was critical in the Western Province where over 50 percent of the country’s total dengue cases were reported. Areas of Medical Officer of Health in the Colombo Municipal Council limits had been identified as risk areas for dengue. District wise he also was quoted as saying that in the Gampaha District, 13 of the 16 MOH areas were high risk areas. The situation in the Kalutara district was better than Colombo and Gampaha.

While outside the Western Province the number of dengue cases wasmuch less, there was a light epidemic situation surrounding other urban areas such as Galle, Badulla, Jaffna, Puttlam, Kurunegala, Kandy, Puttlam and Ratnapura  Municipal Council areas.

A health official said, “It is evident an epidemic is imminent, as the reports of suspected dengue cases from all parts of the island have risen sharply. With the public returning to their workplaces and their daily routine lives under the new normal, and school children returning to their classrooms, it is likely that we will see more cases in the future unless people help halt this dangerous trend.

“The prevailing weather is ideal for the spread of dengue breeding sites as we have short showers followed by bright sunshine. The authorities must pay more attention to clearing all uncleared land, unauthorised structures, slums and shanties in congested urban areas especially in Colombo, and schools and all educational institutes, to prevent exposing vulnerable persons to the dengue risk.”

“I also urge them to visit the homes for the ages where elderly persons too with pre-existing  conditions such as diabetes, cancer and hypertension are easily liable to get dengue either from other inmates or from unhygienic surroundings replete with uncleared waste material.

But the authorities cannot do this task alone. It needs the collective support of the public as a whole. If all of us take responsibility for cleaning our own premises and ensuring that our neighbourhood is also clean and free of dengue collecting receptacles , mend our broken gutters, clean our drains, and change water from our vases every day, we can drastically reduce the dengue incidence in our  country. “

The official said, “If you have any symptoms of dengue such as a high temperature for more than two days, visit your nearest qualified physician without delay to avoid complications. Take Paracetamol only to bring down the fever. Make sure the patient is well hydrated.”