July 30, Colombo: The Health Ministry’s National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) reports a significant increase in the number of dengue patients across the country during the first half of this year, compared to last year.
Several districts in the country have been identified as dengue hotspots and dengue cases are more prevalent in Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kurunegala, Kandy, Matara, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Galle and Hambantota districts than in other districts, NDCU mentioned.
So far in 2021 (up to 29 July 2021) 16,497 dengue patients have been reported among them, 2,997 patients were reported in June and 3,029 in July.
About 70% of the dengue patients reported from the island are from the Western Province.
The National Dengue Control Unit states that the dengue epidemic is expected to increase in the future due to the prevailing southwest monsoon rains in the island.
Joint research conducted by the NDCU, the Medical Research Institute and the Dengue Research Institute at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura has identified that all four serotypes of dengue viruses, designated as DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4 are currently circulating in the island.
According to the research, DENV 2 and DENV 3 are more prevalent in the country and after a few years dengue cases of DENV 1 have also been reported in the country.
The National Dengue Control Unit points out that there is an increase in the number of dengue patients due to changes in the circulating virus groups and the public should be especially vigilant in this regard.
The National Dengue Control Unit urged the public to follow health instructions against both dengue fever and COVID-19 to prevent the emergence of any complex situation from the dual public health concerns.
Hospitals across the country have introduced specialized methods of safe hospitalization and triage of fever patients upon arrival at the hospital for treatment, with a special focus on the risk of COVID-19 disease. Therefore, people should not be afraid to come to the hospital in case of suspected dengue.
In collaboration with Health Officers’ Offices across the country, the National Dengue Control Unit is constantly engaged in dengue control and control activities and is constantly educating the public through the media.
The National Dengue Control Unit points out that the active participation and intervention of the public in the control of dengue is important and calls for commitment of all stakeholders in achieving disease control.