12/04/2010, 00.00
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Sri Lanka launches dengue eradication week

by Melani Manel Perera
"It is important to keep public awareness high about the danger of contagion," says Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. The number of cases have dropped significantly since September. Colombo district among worst hit, with 5.66 cases.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - The Sri Lankan Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has launched a dengue eradication week from 1 to December 7. "This week – he said in a press conference - has been planned to keep the public aware of the danger of the disease," even though the number of cases in the country have greatly decreased since September.

The minister added that the efforts against the disease have achieved good results. The number of sick have greatly decreased compared to the last months of 2009. Between May-June 2009 there was an epidemic with over 10 thousand cases and 150 deaths.

The number of dengue patients has dropped by 4,167 in August to 458 in November, according to figures from the Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit. Throughout 2010 there 33 thousand people were infected with 230 deaths from the disease, which is transmitted mosquitoes.

Colombo is the most affected district with 5,766 cases, but the infection rate was also high in the districts of Gampaha, Ratnapura and Jaffna.

The Epidemiological unit had already launched a week against dengue fever last October 7 to 13, before the arrival of monsoon rains, when the risk of infection is greater, especially in certain districts. During that rainy season, the general population supported the government’s eradication effort and praised the government for taking initiatives to control the epidemic.

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