06/07/2019, 10.33
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Dengue epidemic: 28 deaths and nearly 20 thousand infections

Colombo most affected with over 4 thousand cases;  followed by Gampaha and the Jaffna peninsula. Experts advise to go immediately to the doctor in case of symptoms of fever. Every year at least 50 million people in the world are infected with the virus.

Colombo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 28 people have died and nearly 20,000 have been infected with dengue virus in Sri Lanka in early 2019. The data was released yesterday by the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health.

The exact number of infections is 19,785. The area most affected is that of the capital Colombo, which alone has 4.274 cases of infection. Following are the areas of Gampaha, on the outskirts of the capital, with 2,536 people infected; then the Jaffna Peninsula, in the north-west, with 1,906 cases. Experts advise patients to alert their doctor immediately in case of high fever and other symptoms, such as vomiting, dizziness and abdominal pain. The Ministry advises all infected patients not to go to work or school.

Dengue fever, or just dengue, is a tropical infectious disease caused by the virus of the same name. It is transmitted by a particular species of mosquito which proliferates above all in stagnant and unhealthy urban areas. The virus presents with fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, in addition to the characteristic rash similar to that of measles. Deadly cases are those in which the virus develops a hemorrhagic fever that can develop into circulatory shock and death.

According to the World Health Organization, at least 50 million people worldwide are infected with the virus every year. Since there is no effective vaccination, the only way to prevent fever is to eliminate mosquitoes and their habitat, to limit exposure to the risk of transmission.

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