Sri Lanka is facing one of its worst ever dengue outbreak, according to the most recent reports on the matter. These show that the disease has already infected over 76,000 people and led to the death of 225 this year alone.
Alarmed by the magnitude of the crisis, government authorities employed the help of 400 police officers and soldiers in trying to clear away potential mosquito-breeding environments.
CDC reports state that dengue can be caused by one of four related viruses, all of which are transmitted by mosquitos. There are no available vaccines for preventing this disease. At the moment, the best protection method is prevention and avoiding mosquito bites.
2017’s Dengue Outbreak is Already Worse Than in Other Years
The Sri Lanka Health Ministry states that, when compared to 2016, the nationwide number of infections is already some 38 percent higher. Last year, over 55,100 were diagnosed with dengue, and 97 people died.
These numbers are already higher in 2017, with over 76,000 having already been diagnosed with the disease and 225 already gone.
The government decided and deployed, on Tuesday, some 400 soldiers and also police officers to help clear away any potential mosquito breeding grounds. These include anything from stagnant water pools to rotting garbage. This way, authorities are trying to prevent additional infestations.
Dr. Priscilla Samaraweera, of the National Dengue Eradication Unit, stated that “This is mostly an urban disease”.
Last month, the country’s cities were hit by heavy rains, which left them waterlogged and led to the creation of puddles and multitudes of rain-soaked garbage.
25 teams of police officers, public health inspectors, and soldiers are working in Colombo alone. They are knocking on doors and advising people on clearing away and cleaning any empty outdoor pots, clogged drains, or other such areas. Officials are also fumigating public spaces.
Dr. Samaraweera also stated that this year’s dengue outbreak strain is “particularly dangerous”. With the hospitals’ being overcrowded, the Army is also working on creating two temporary wards at the Negombo Base Hospital, according to reports.
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