12/21/2012 12:00:00 PM

Dengue: massive increase in Sri Lanka with 40 000 cases in 2012

Recently the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka reported that during 2012 the number of dengue cases in the country increased by 11,000 compared to the same period of 2011.1 Nearly 40 000 people have been infected. A significant rise of 3000 cases was registered just in the last month. According to the officials, by the end of November 2012, the total number of dengue cases in Sri Lanka had reached 39 700. The Ministry of Health also reported 82 deaths from dengue fever up until August.
The dengue virus has four different serotypes; and subsequent infection with different serotypes of the virus increases the risk of severe complications. Therefore the Health authorities of Sri Lanka advise the population

to take preventative measures against the disease, focussing first of all on the elimination of potential mosquito breeding sites, especially following rains.

Shanni Srivastava, Market Segment Manager-Rural Hygiene & Vector Control for Bayer South Asia says: ‘The dengue threat has been lurking for the last few years with a strong annual increase in intensity, mortality and geographic spread in Sri Lanka. The vector breeds in small water containers in peri-domestic areas; creating challenging conditions for vector control, which can readily result in an emergency situations for the local authorities. Proper integrated Vector Control measures including source reduction, larviciding and focal space spraying can help Public Health officials to protect their communities from this growing threat. Bayer has played an active role in dengue control for many years, developing sustainable vector control solutions which are not only highly effective but also designed to reduce environmental impact’.

Vector Control interventions are particularly important for the prevention of dengue disease since there is no currently available vaccine and no specific medication for the treatment of the disease.

1 The Sunday Times, 06/12/2012