Outbreak News Today

Sri Lanka dengue fever epidemic 2017

In 2017, Sri Lanka saw a record number of dengue fever cases with a total of 184,442, a total more than three times higher than 2016. More than 320 deaths were also reported.

The dengue peak was observed during the summer months with more than 41,000 cases reported during July alone.


Colombo RDHS and Gampaha RDHS saw the most cases with 34,173 and 31,459, respectively.

To put the 2017 epidemic in perspective, there were 55,000 cases reported in 2016 and about 30,000 cases seen in 2015.

While dengue was reported from all over the island, approximately 41.53 per cent of Dengue cases were reported from the Western province. All four serotypes of Dengue have been seen in Sri Lanka. The current outbreak is predominantly due to Dengue Fever Virus Type 2 (DEN-2), which is not the usual type circulating in Sri Lanka.

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).