By NewsDesk   @bactiman63

The number of dengue fever cases in Sri Lanka continue to rise rapidly in recent months with some 40,000 cases reported since October.

Aedes aegypti/CDC

Since the beginning of the year through December 17, 91,735 cases and 120 deaths. Districts which reported high number of cases include Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Matale, Jaffna and Badulla.

According to National Dengue Control Unit’s Director, Dr Anura Jayasekara, a new dengue strain is circulating this year in Sri Lanka, a different strain than during the 2017 outbreak. The exact dengue strain was not specified.

This has prompted the director to advise suspected dengue patients to seek treatment even after a day of fever due to the new strain.

The director said suspected patients could get into a serious condition at a faster rate as those affected would not have build up immunity for the new strain.“There are cases where patients get into serious condition even after only having the illness for two days,” he said.

Dr Jayasekara said they would deploy 1,500 public health officers to carry out inspections in areas where most cases were reported. He said that cleaning and education programs were also taking place in these areas. Legal action would also be taken against those who had neglected to clear mosquito breeding places. Special attention would be given to inspect construction sites, government institutes and private company premises. Legal action would be taken against company owners and construction companies if mosquito breeding places were found in their premises.