Sri Lanka health officials report that there has been 15641 dengue fever cases reported in the first quarter of 2019. This is down from nearly 18000 cases reported during the same period lats year.
Year-to-date, officials say that 15 deaths have been attributed to dengue.
Colombo continues to report the most cases, followed by Gampaha and Jaffna districts.
Last year, Sri Lanka reported more than 51000 cases.
Earlier this week, the US FDA approved the dengue virus vaccine, Dengvaxia for the prevention of dengue disease caused by all dengue virus serotypes (1, 2, 3 and 4) in people ages 9 through 16 who have laboratory-confirmed previous dengue infection and who live in endemic areas.
This caught the attention of Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel who noted that the vaccine was not used in people with confirmed previous dengue infection, instead he said, “But in our case, children were vaccinated wholesale, regardless whether they had or did not have prior dengue infection”.
Pimentel said various studies have independently confirmed previous findings that children who never had dengue infection, but who were given Dengvaxia shots anyway, had an increased risk of hospitalization and a severe case of the debilitating mosquito-borne disease from the third year after vaccination.
The indiscriminate mass inoculation of Filipino school children was called a “blunder” by former Philippine health authorities and Sanofi Pasteur, which resulted the vaccination of some 800,000 people, primarily children between April 2016 and Dec. 2017.
The Department of Justice has recently found probable cause to indict former health secretary Janette Garin and nine other DOH officials for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.