Medi-snippets: Dengue increasing | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: Dengue increasing

The prevailing heavy rains throughout the country has raised the number of victims of the viral flu and dengue, health sources told the Sunday Observer. They warned that the proliferation of breeding sites had led to a sharp rise in mosquitoes and many areas inundated with water was conducive to the dengue carrying vector. “We have stepped up prevention activities in all districts with fumigation and inspection of dwellings, public places and drains. Health officials and Public Health Inspectors are also making door to door inspections to check mosquito breeding grounds.We urge the public to give them their fullest cooperation and let them enter their premises without obstruction,” a health official said on grounds of anonymity. Dengue Prevention authorities said that several residents who had mosquito breeding sites within their premises had been identified and warned . If they don’t clean up their premises according to our satisfaction we will take legal action against them, they told the newspaper . The total number of dengue cases reported up to November 12 this year was 4,666 bringing the total to 67,791 so far from January. Meanwhile, health officials have welcomed the Health Ministry’s recent decision to introduce the much waited for Wolbachia bacteria to prevent dengue spread, from next February.

The Health Ministry Deputy Director General Dr Paba Palihawadana was quoted as saying that a pilot project was scheduled to be carried out in the Colombo district where the natural bacteria would be released in 25 Grama Niladhari Divisions around Colombo. Australia was the first country in the world to release the bacteria in the mosquito infested swamps of Townsville in Queensland and has reported that not a single case of dengue had been reported in the past four years. The World Mosquito program aims at initiating the project to 100 million people worldwide by 2020.

Leptospirosis

Epidemiologists also warned those living in flooded areas at risk of Leptospirosis to take great care to adhere to the advice of health officials on how to take precautions before they reported to their places of work. “Rat fever is fatal and there is no cure. But it can be prevented with drugs.

We have distributed the drug Doxycycline free of charge to all health institutes and also issued leaflets giving details of what one should do if bitten by a vector spreading the disease Health Promotion Bureau sources told the paper. Asked what number they should call, they said to dial the hotline 0710-107-107 which is a free service available all 24 hours. Well qualified doctors and consultants will answer any inquiries.

Food inspections stepped up

With the Christmas season now in full swing, the Health Ministry as well as the Public Food Inspectors Union are currently conducting sudden inspections in all eating outlets to flush out food items unfit for human consumption. Sources told the Sunday Observer that they had already found many wholesale outlets selling outdated raisins, sultanas, cadjunuts, dates, pumpkin preserve and other ingredients used for cakes. We also found some leading shopping outlets selling outdated butter cake and other ready made cakes and also relabelling outdated items with new false dates.

They warned the public to beware of buying unknown brands and to read labels carefully and make sure they carry the addresses, names, place of manufacture, date of expiry and the ingredients used. “If in doubt clarify with the management and if you are in doubt regarding the labelling don’t buy it.”

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