It was has been called the island nation’s worst dengue fever outbreak ever, Sri Lankan health officials are now reporting in excess of 80,000 cases in 2017 through June. The number of fatalities reported stands at 227.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

This is significantly more than the 23,000 + cases reported during the same period in 2016 and nearly 40 percent higher than the total for all of 2016 (55,150).

In May, Save the Children issued a warning concerning the stagnant flood waters and the monsoon season downpours. “The humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka right now is alarming”, was noted back in May.

As CNN reports, experts worry the death toll could yet increase, as the country’s health infrastructure struggles to cope with the virus’ rapid spread. “Dengue will get worse as flood waters recede further,” Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said in comments made to local media.

Last month’s heavy rains left the cities waterlogged, with puddles and rain-soaked garbage providing ideal spots for mosquitoes to breed and multiply. This prompted the deployment of hundreds of troops and police Tuesday to clear away rotting garbage, stagnant water pools and other potential mosquito-breeding grounds, Time reports.


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