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    South-west monsoon main reason behind rise in dengue cases

    September 22, 2019

    The dengue epidemic is raging mainly due to the current south-west monsoon, health officials have warned.Potential mosquito breeding grounds were mainly detected in schools and constructions sitesThe National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) says most cases have been reported from Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle, Ratnapura and Kandy districts.According to NDCU figures as of September 20, there were 45,000 cases this year with 70 deaths.

    NDCU Director, Anura Jayasekara told that generally during July and August there was a risk of dengue cases increasing, however this year the time period had gone on for another month.Moreover, he said that due to the prevailing weather conditions the number of cases was expected to increase in the coming weeks.Dr. Jayasekara said one of the main problems was the poor response of the people.“Programmes are being conducted to increase public awareness, whereby the number of breeding places can be reduced, but without the support of the people this cannot be achieved,” he said.
    Gampaha regional epidemiologist and health services director, Krishantha Samaraweera said that as of September 20, about 9,800 dengue cases had been reported with 20 deaths.According to Dr. Samaraweera figures this year have drastically escalated in comparison to last year, when 6,700 cases were recorded with four deaths.The regional director has identified Biyagama, Negombo and Katana as high risk areas.
    “We have deployed around 200 dengue control field officers who visit houses on a daily basis, apart from the tri-forces programmes organised by the NDCU,” he said.Dr. Samaraweera said during their cleaning programmes potential mosquito breeding grounds were mainly detected in schools and constructions sites.Moreover, he also pointed out the lack of support from the people.“People are only supportive during the peak period when damage has already been done. They should be made aware of the importance of sustaining the practice of eliminating breeding grounds.”
    Dr. U.I. Ratnayake the Regional Director of Health Services of Kalutara told the Sunday Times that despite the reduction in the number of dengue cases this year in comparison to last year, the number of cases reported during the past two weeks had escalated.According to him, as of September 20, 3,000 dengue cases had been reported and they have identified Panadura, Wadduwa, Dodangoda, Mathugama and Bulathsinhala as high risk areas.“The prevailing rains set out the environmental conditions for dengue mosquitoes to breed and this can only be eliminated if the people’s response was much stronger,” he said.

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