08/13/2010, 00.00
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Biological insecticide from Cuba to combat dengue fever in Sri Lanka

by Melani Manel Perera
It is the most widespread disease among travelers and is transmitted by mosquitoes. In Sri Lanka there are over 25 000 patients, 186 died in the year. Pilot project in Kandy, Gampola and Akurana.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Within two weeks 10 thousand doses of BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) will arrive in Sri Lanka.  It is a biological insecticide that controls the spread of Dengue Fever, which has already claimed 186 lives this year. The BTI was bought from the Cuban government, brokered by the Cuban Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Niris Castro Guevara.

BTI is a group of common soil bacteria that can remove the larvae of various insects, mosquitoes, etc. .. and are very selective, having no ill effects on the human body. The production and importation of BTI has cost the government in Colombo 30 million rupees (almost 208 000 euros).

Dengue fever is spread by a virus carried by mosquitoes and is the most widespread disease among travellers. In Sri Lanka there are currently 25,347 patients and there have been 186 deaths this year. The symptoms are high fever, headache, aching joints and muscles, often associated with vomiting, nausea and rashes on the skin of the chest, arms, legs and face. Many cases are mild, but there is also haemorrhagic Dengue which is very serious.

Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Health, said that 10 units of BTI will be used in a pilot project in Kandy, Gampola and Akurana before being used nationwide.

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See also
Colombo launches campaign to fight dengue fever
Sri Lanka launches dengue eradication week
India's health care system in crisis following dengue fever outbreak
Sri Lankan papers go "anti-mosquito" for a day to fight dengue fever
In Sri Lanka, dengue fever kills 38, infects 10,000 in a few months


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