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News  


 

Health Ministry warns on waterborne diseases
By Carol Aloysius
As rains lash the southern coast and other districts, the Health Ministry warns people to beware of the possibility of an outbreak of dengue and waterborne diseases.
Ministry warns specifically people living in farming areas to take all precautions against infection of Leptispirosis (Rat Fever) since rains wash out rats from their holes in paddy fields. “These rats spread the disease but not the house rats in urban areas”, Ministry stressed. Kurunegala, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa are among the worst affected with the disease infecting 5,000 persons and killing over 65 persons this year.
Sources said rat fever and dengue was surfacing in various places although both diseases subsided after Health Ministry’s timely interventions and carrying out shramadana campaigns with security forces to clear infectious places island wide.
While only one case of rat fever has been reported in Colombo this year, 160 persons, mostly children, have been confirmed with dengue in the Colombo Municipal area. For the last month 150 patients were confirmed with dengue. “These numbers are likely to go up due to prevailing rains,” Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Colombo Municipality told The Nation. The cumulative number of dengue patients in Colombo for the year to the date is 3,000. “Most patients are from Colombo North, Colombo Central, Dematagoda and Kirulapone low lying areas where numerous drains and canals get blocked”, Dr Kariyawasam said.
Asked whether an outbreak of waterborne diseases is in the City, he said that so far no such reports confirmed. “But I have asked my PHIs to inspect shanty and slum areas with limited access to drinking water”, he added. He also informed that due to ongoing program of vaccinating hotel workers against typhoid, checking food and water in restaurants, eating outlets and pavement lunch packets, the bowel related diseases like typhoid has reduced.