The Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health informed that the threat of water borne diseases, rat fever and dengue continued to remain high in the wake of the disaster situation affecting several parts of the country and the existence of campsites housing victims of floods and landslides.

The Unit is monitoring the prevalence of diseases in campsites on a daily basis. The medical officers of health compile daily reports which are sent to the district level regional epidemiologists who in turn forward their reports to the Unit.

It must be noted that dengue was at its peak when the disaster hit the country unexpectedly.

Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Samitha Ginige said that drinking water sources were polluted and therefore it was vital that people use boiled and cooled water for the purpose of drinking, and also advised the public to refrain from consuming fruits and vegetables raw, in the case of the latter particularly those vegetables that grow in or adjacent to water sources. The consumption of dry rations was advised instead.

People should also refrain from going into water bodies for the spread of rat fever is a high probability, he noted. People should also take the immunization medicine given to them.

“Wells should be cleaned of dirt and chlorinated. Discarding of bottles should not be done in a haphazard manner. The environment should be protected. A number of cases of diarrhoea have been reported but it is nowhere near epidemic levels,” Dr. Ginige further explained.