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* Special task force to control dengue epidemic in Sri Lanka
Sun, Mar 28, 2010, 08:49 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 28, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition has appointed a special task force at the national level to control the fast spreading dengue epidemic in the country.

The Health Ministry said it will launch a broad based programme to control the spread of the disease and accordingly has set up the task force recently with the support of all Ministries including Health and Education and other government departments to eradicate the Dengue menace.

Under the programme 65 Ministry of Health (MOH) divisions have been declared as high risk areas for the disease to spread.

"A special programme has commenced in order to minimize the spread of dengue within these MOH divisions which belong to 15 districts," the Ministry said.

The program will educate the school children on the necessary precautionary measures to avoid falling victim to the disease.

The Ministry has noted that the spread of dengue from urban surroundings to village level has shown a significant increase.

Latest statistics from the Epidemiology Unit reveals that so far this year 63 deaths have been reported among 10,999 dengue patients island wide.

Colombo, Gampaha, and Jaffna were the most affected districts, each reporting over 1,300 cases. Jaffna district recorded 1,795 cases whereas Colombo had 1,329 patients and three were 1,393 cases in Gampaha district. Jaffna also had the highest death toll of 16 from the disease.

However, the number of patients reported in March is substantially lower than the averages for the first two months of 2010. Only 1790 case have been reported in March compared to 4,667 for January and 4,542 for February.

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