Sri Lankan military troops have been deployed to destroy mosquito breeding sites in the country as record numbers of dengue fever cases continue to mount.
According to a Malay Mail Online report, Troops, backed by police and health officials, have launched an intensive campaign to identify dengue hotspots to be sprayed with insecticides.
Twenty five teams will separately move into the worst-affected areas in and around Colombo and search for dengue breeding spots and other vulnerable areas.
Through June 30, the Sri Lanka Epidemiology Unit with the Ministry of Health puts the dengue tally at 71,298, including 215 fatalities.
This compares with 55,150, including 78 deaths in all of 2016.
Eighty students at the University of Moratuwa have reportedly contracted dengue fever prompting the temporary closure of the school.
One female student died from the mosquito borne viral disease.
The dengue situation at the school prompted students to demand solutions to the problem.
Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are four closely related but antigenically different serotypes of the virus that can cause dengue (DEN1, DEN 2, DEN 3, DEN 4).
- Dengue Fever (DF) – marked by an onset of sudden high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, and pain in muscles and joints. Some may also have a rash and varying degree of bleeding from various parts of the body (including nose, mouth and gums or skin bruising).Dengue has a wide spectrum of infection outcome (asymptomatic to symptomatic). Symptomatic illness can vary from dengue fever (DF) to the more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF).
- Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) – is a more severe form, seen only in a small proportion of those infected. DHF is a stereotypic illness characterized by 3 phases; febrile phase with high continuous fever usually lasting for less than 7 days; critical phase (plasma leaking) lasting 1-2 days usually apparent when fever comes down, leading to shock if not detected and treated early; convalescence phase lasting 2-5 days with improvement of appetite, bradycardia (slow heart rate), convalescent rash (white patches in red background), often accompanied by generalized itching (more intense in palms and soles), and diuresis (increase urine output).
- Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) — Shock syndrome is a dangerous complication of dengue infection and is associated with high mortality. Severe dengue occurs as a result of secondary infection with a different virus serotype. Increased vascular permeability, together with myocardial dysfunction and dehydration, contribute to the development of shock, with resultant multiorgan failure.
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