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* Sri Lanka Health Ministry testing vaccine against dengue
Wed, Nov 7, 2012, 11:24 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka Ministry of Health says it is taking several measures to eradicate the dengue menace in the country.

The Minsitry says a feasibility study is under way to spray the larvicide Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) bacteria by air to prevent the spread of the dengue mosquito.

The Ministry plans to air spray imported and locally produced BTI with the help of the Air Force in Colombo city and suburbs from where most dengue cases have been reported. The Ministry expects to acquire equipment needed for this operation.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has commenced the production of vaccine given to dengue patients.

An international vaccine manufacturer has commenced the production of dengue vaccine in Sri Lanka with the assistance of the government of Thailand.

The vaccine which is used for adults have already being produced while the one to be used on children is now being produced, Ministry sources said.

The vaccine is being tested by countries affected by dengue mosquitoes and in Sri Lanka the Epidemiology Unit has currently undertaken to experiment the vaccine, according to a Health Ministry official.

If the vaccine is found to be fit for use in Sri Lanka, it will be introduced in 2015 as part of Sri Lanka's National Immunization Programme, the official has said.

The Ministry has also commenced a special training for the nurses treating dengue patients and taken measures to provide the hospitals with equipment that can screen blood of dengue patients in just two hours.

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