Health Ministry sounds dengue warning

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Ministry and the National Dengue Control Unit has warned the public that there is an outbreak of dengue.

The Ministry requests the public to take an NS1 test at a state hospital within two days of fever. Dengue has already killed over 80 patients this year, a Health Ministry spokesman said.

The test helps to diagnose dengue fever accurately and quickly. The Chief Epidemiologist of the Epidemiology Unit Dr. Sudath Samaraweera requests the public to use Paracetamol only for all types of fever. Both NS1 test and Full Blood Count (FBC) can be done free at state hospitals. State hospitals have all the required facilities to perform the tests.

All fever patients should not take Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac Sodium, or Mefenamic Acid which are Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids such as Prednisolone, Methyl-Prednisolone and Dexamethasone. Those drugs cause Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) which can be fatal, he said.

National Dengue Control Unit Director Dr. Anura Jayasekara said the most common dengue mosquito-breeding ground are found in factories, construction sites and religious institutions.

The highest number of dengue patients this year (10,842) was reported in October. The highest number of dengue patients (14,033) was reported in the Colombo district by Wednesday (6). The Colombo Municipal Council recorded a total of 2,734 dengue patients by Wednesday.

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