Reduction in rate of new cases - Dengue Control Unit | Sunday Observer

Reduction in rate of new cases - Dengue Control Unit

There has been a reduction in the rate of new dengue cases reported during the past few days, an official of the National Dengue Control Unit said. Consultant Community Specialist at the National Dengue Control Unit, Dr. Presila Samaraweera said they cannot say the spread of dengue is on the decline, but there is a visible reduction in the ‘rate’ of new cases being reported in the past couple of days. However, her statement could not be verified by figures since the epidemiology unit had documented dengue cases only up to the end of June this year. Dengue has been spreading in Sri Lanka in epidemic proportions since early this year. Over 80,730 dengue cases had been reported by the end of June with 15,251 cases in May and 19,795 in June.

The epidemiology unit said, 55,150 people contracted dengue last year. The figure for 2015 was 29,777 patients.

Dr. Samaraweera said health services, local government bodies and Security Forces personnel joined in the islandwide campaign to fight the spread of dengue and this may be a reason for the apparent decrease.

According to her, all State systems have been mobilised for dengue control activities, but the people’s contribution to keep the environment safe is still very poor.

“We cannot sustain this joint effort forever, the health services need to go back to their respective areas of work. Hence, people have a major role to play in keeping their houses and the immediate environment clean, to ensure there are no mosquito breeding sites,” she said.

But, with solid waste disposal crippled countrywide due to the ill-functioning of local government bodies, this will remain a major challenge.

Hospitals have also been

geared to start the management of dengue patients at the OPD level so that the patients who have transited to the critical phase (Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever - DHF) can be identified soon. Earlier, hospitals struggled to manage the crowds and some deaths were attributed to delays in identifying patients transiting to the critical stage of DHF.

By the end of last month, the Epidemiology unit of the Health Ministry announced 3,640 new cases, recording a downward trend against 4,680 in the third week of the same month.

Dr. Samaraweera said they have identified, the re-emergence of the serotype 2 dengue, intermittent rains and the garbage issue as the main causes for the massive dengue outbreak this year.