Deadly flu spreads to East

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
The deadly influenza A virus, that caused havoc in Colombo and other towns in south, central and northwest Sri Lanka, has now moved to the East, with Trincomalee town recording the deaths of three children and the wards at Batticaloa hospital chock-a-block with patients, said sources in the East. Three students, two females and one male, have died in Trincomalee.

S.Divakala, Secretary Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Sports of the Northeast Provincial Council (NEPC) will decide whether schools in the district are to close, after scrutinising the report of the Regional Director of Health Services of the NEPC.

There will be a School Principals (Heads) meeting at Trincomalee Vikneswara Mahaviththiyalayam tomorrow at 10:00a.m. to decide on the matter.

Meanwhile, the temperature in areas of the East rose to almost unbearable levels.

The excessive heat is one reason for the unchecked spread of Influenza A.

The temperature and disease have led to a fall of almost 50% attendance in schools in the Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts.

Even sections of the teaching staff have been struck by the disease.

This has prompted Mr. Divakala to issue a circular ordering all sports, extra curricular activities and excursions in schools in the area to be postponed.

He has also advised teachers to see that students do not stay in the sun needlessly. School heads have been asked to give whatever assistance possible to students stricken by the sickness.

Mr. Divakala has also told school principals to give weekly reports to the Circuit Education Officers.

In Batticaloa, the Ministry of Health of the NEPC has advised the public that the sick children should be given plenty of rest and not compelled to attend school before they are completely well.

The children's ward at Batticaloa Hospital is treating patients who total more than twice the number of beds available ñ around 150 patients for the 60 beds.

There is also a sharp increase among the adults receiving treatment, said sources.

 

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