Viral fever epidemic affects over 100,000 in Jaffna peninsula

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 December 2006, 19:08 GMT]
The mosquito borne viral disease Chikungunya currently sweeping across Jaffna peninsula is believed to have affected more than 100,000 civilians, according to a preliminary survey A.Ketheeswaran, Director of Public Health Services, Northern Region has reported.

Mr.Ketheeswaran said that so far over 60,000 have received treatment at the 39 hospitals under his supervision while an estimated 40,000 patients are believed to have been treated at other medical establishments including Jaffna Teaching Hospital and a number of private medical clinics .

Meanwhile, more than 5000 troops of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) stationed in the peninsula, mainly those on duty in Forward Defense line (FDL) areas have also been affected by the disease and are receiving treatment in the army camps, military sources said.

Continuous rain in the area has been a key factor for the spread of the disease among the troops, army sources added

Many students from at least four schools sitting for G. C. E (Ordinary Level) Examination are also affected by the disease, Directors of Education in the region said. A number of students from St.Patrick's College, St.Charle's Maha Vidyalayam ,St.John's College as well from a number of schools in the suburbs affected by fatigue and vomiting fainted at the examination centers and were unable to continue their examination. Jaffna Government Agent after being notified of these incidents instructed the District Medical officers to take immediate action to bring the situation under control. A team of doctors rushed to the affected schools and distributed fever pills to provide temporary relief.

Meanwhile in an effort to control the spread of the disease the International Red Cross Society has air lifted 500,000 Paracetamol tablets from Colombo for distribution in the peninsula.

 

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