By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Sri Lanka health officials have stepped up their dengue response in an effort to pre-empt any further spread of mosquito-borne dengue fever with the onset of heavy rains in many parts of the country.

Sri Lanka/CIA

Through August 28, health officials have recorded 42,051 total cases with the Western Province seeing the most in the country.

The Colombo district alone recorded a total of 8,808 dengue cases which is the highest. The Gampaha district recorded the second highest number of dengue cases which is 6,388 while the Galle district recorded 4,337 dengue cases.

A total of 62 clinically proven dengue patients had died as at August 23 this year. There are a few more deaths reported during this period but they had not been confirmed as ‘dengue deaths’ so far,. Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe disclosed. This indicates a worsening of the situation compared with the 58 dengue deaths reported for the whole of 2018, according to Epidemiology Unit data.

Dr. Jasinghe said that the Health authorities have intensified their messaging to the public. With barely two weeks to go, school authorities have been advised to clean up mosquito breeding sites located in and around schools before the end of the school vacation early next month.

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The public are being asked to be vigilant about all types of mosquito breeding sites and to destroy them on a regular basis. At least 30 minutes per week should be allocated to clean mosquito breeding sites, the medical authorities are warning all residents.

Experts are also warning the public not to take drugs such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac Sodium, Mefenamic Acid etc without medical consultation.

According to Dr. Jasinghe, fever patients should not take any other Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and Steroids such as Prednisolone, Methyl-Prednisolone and Dexamethasone. Doctors who treat fever patients should avoid prescribing above drugs. The medications mentioned above cause Dengue hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) which can become fatal.

Applying mosquito repellents is another effective method to prevent mosquito bites.