Sri LankaRISE IN CASES OF JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS IN SRI LANKAMar 01, 2013
TravelCare International is reporting an increase in Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases from Ratnapura district of Sabaragamuwa province. At least 52 people are suspected of being infected and nine have died. About eight cases have been confirmed through laboratory testing. Most patients are above 48 years of age.
JE is consistently present in Sri Lanka. Ratnapura records about 40 cases every year. JE is spread via mosquito bites. The spike in cases is thought to be due to unsealed gem pits which act as breeding places for mosquitoes.
JE is the most common cause of encephalitis in Asia. It occurs mostly in rural agricultural areas. Most people don't develop symptoms. If symptoms do develop, they may include nausea, headache and fever. Severe attacks can cause swelling of the brain and may lead to a coma. About 25% of those with serious cases die. Those who do survive may suffer permanent brain damage.
There is a vaccine available to protect against JE. Floods causing health issuesDec 21, 2012
According to TravelCare International, over 300,000 people have been affected and 25 have died due to disease outbreaks caused by flooding. The loss of power supply and disruption of transportation networks has negatively impacted healthcare availability.
People are urged to avoid non-essential travel to flood areas. For those who must travel, consult a travel medicine physician for a health assessment and vaccine recommendations. If in affected areas, use an effective insect repellent, avoid flood waters, choose safe food and water, avoid ice, and wash your hands with soap regularly. Update on dengue fever outbreakMar 21, 2012
Update on dengue fever outbreak
According to TravelCare International, more than 8,100 cases and at least 30 deaths have been reported so far in 2012. Colombo reported the highest number of infections.
In 2011, more than 28,000 suspected cases were reported with at least 180 fatalities. In 2011, over half of the infections were reported from the Western province.
Dengue fever is consistently present in Sri Lanka. There is no vaccine against this infection. Everyone is urged to take precautions at all times to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.