Sri Lanka health officials saw more than 7,000 dengue fever cases in July, putting the total cases for the year to date to 30,041. This total for the first seven months of the year is more than the total number of cases reported in all of 2015 (29,777). 50 dengue-related fatalities have been recorded this year so far.

Aedes mosquito
Aedes aegypti image/CDC

The capital city of Colombo’s district has seen the most cases in the country with 9,696, followed by Gampaha (2649), Kandy (2354) and Kalutara (2243).

According to local media, a National Mosquito Eradication program will take place at the end of the week, targeting the North East monsoonal rains.

Health officials advise all persons who suffer from fever for more than two days should seek immediate medical treatment from a qualified doctor or a state hospital.

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.