04/18/2012, 00.00
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In Sri Lanka, dengue fever kills 38, infects 10,000 in a few months

by Melani Manel Perera
For the World Health Organisation (WHO), the island nation is 'category A' country in terms of infectious diseases. According to official data, 3,892 cases were reported in January, 3,004 in February and 2,421 in March. The dengue hemorrhagic fever is the most virulent form of the disease and a leading cause of death among children.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - With 9,317 cases and 38 dead in the first three months of 2012, Sri Lanka is a 'category A' country (infectious diseases) according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) where. Dengue is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease and the leading cause of hospitalisation and death among children, the weakest group in society.

Sri Lanka's Epidemiology Unit reported that the highest number of cases occurred in January, with 3,892 cases reported, followed by 3,004 in February and 2,421 in March, thus indicating a worsening situation compared to last year, when there were "only" 3,103 cases.

In urban centres, the virus is cyclical.  Half of all cases were recorded in the Western Province, the country's most populous province.

The virus proliferates in pools of stagnant water like ponds and swamps. Fighting the disease entails destroying such breeding grounds.

In May 2010, Sri Lankan authorities launched a campaign against the disease.

The dengue hemorrhagic fever is the most virulent form of the disease and can be lethal.

According to WHO, dengue is the leading mosquito-born viral disease among humans. About 2.5 billion people live in endemic areas with around 50 million people infected yearly.

In Southeast Asia, three countries share the 'Category A' classification: Thailand, Indonesia and East Timor.


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See also
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Sri Lankan papers go "anti-mosquito" for a day to fight dengue fever
Colombo launches campaign to fight dengue fever
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