By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Sri Lanka health officials have reported 18,835 dengue fever cases through the first four months of 2020 and are warning of a possible surge in cases with the onset of the rainy season.

Image/Robert Herriman

Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi pointed out that in the recent past there was a greater rise in dengue infections in urbanized and congested areas while the most number of cases was reported mid-year (May to July) in the Southwest Monsoon season and at the end of the year (October to January) in the Northeast monsoon season.

The minister warned that with the focus on COVID-19 if measures are not taken to address the dengue situation, the country will have to face an unfortunate fate. Therefore, she instructed the health officials to take action to implement a proper programme to address the dengue issue and instructed them to pay special attention to the construction sites which have been stopped due to the current situation in the country, to ensure these sites don’t become dengue breeding grounds.

The first dengue case was reported in the country in 1962 and the first epidemic was reported in 1965-1966. According to records of the Epidemiology Unit, during the period from 1970 to 1980 there had been dengue epidemics reported and in 1996 it was included into the list of diseases and compulsory to be reported.