Health Ministry officials are trying to hush up the investigations into the cause of the Myocarditis disease, that is rapidly spreading in the Uva and Central provinces, ministry sources said.
The Medical Research Institute had tested over 15 blood samples from the patients but was still to find the root cause of the spread of the epidemic. The MRI reports have identified the epidemic as dengue fever, sources said.
Following the MRI reports, a team of epidemiologists were dispatched to Badulla by the Health Ministry to investigate the disease, but so far there has been no breakthrough, sources said adding that the experts know the actual cause of the spread of the disease, but are attempting to hide it from the general public.
`Though one month has lapsed, the team of epidemiologists could not explain the cause of the spread of the mystery disease. The team could not reach an exact conclusion despite the fact they had the assistance of a group of experts from the World Health Organisation,` a source in the Sri Lanka Medical Association told The Island yesterday.
Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe, Chief Epidemiologist of the Health Ministry, said that the WHO team of experts was yet to furnish the official reports on their own investigation. He said that the team of WHO experts had left the country two months ago but there was no report from the WHO Headquarters in Geneva. He admitted there was no firm official identification of the cause of the Myocarditis.
Dr. Abeysinghe said that he will attend a special meeting at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, US next week and hoped to raise the issue there.
Medical Superintendent of the Badulla General Hospital, Dr. K. M. Dharmapriya said an average of two cases are reported at the hospital every day.
More than 400 suspected Myocarditis cases were reported to the Badulla General Hospital since the first outbreak of the epidemic.
Dr. Mrs Y. Anwer, Deputy Director of the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital, said over 20 suspected cases were reported to the hospital during the past three weeks. One of them, a final year medical undergraduate of Peradeniya University died of suspected Myocarditis.
Health Ministry authorities, when contacted for comment, said Dr. Nihal Jayatilake, Additional Secretary to the Health Ministry was abroad and there was no other official to comment on the attempts to cover up the results of investigations into the mystery disease.