LNP – Dengue stings amid COVID-19; similar symptoms a concern

Amidst the threat of COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown, health authorities have sounded an alert on cases of dengue, which have started to emerge due to prevailing incessant showery conditions.

According to health authorities, the cases are expected to rise in the future as torrential rains are on the cards as forecast by the Meteorology Department.

Besides, with the focus currently on COVID-19 and symptoms of dengue being similar, there is also a concern over missing cases and misdiagnosis.

Commenting on the situation, Dr. Nimalka Pannila Hetti, Consultant Community Physician at the National Dengue Control Unit, told the Daily Mirror that people need to be alert as symptoms of fever, chills, muscle pain, nausea, diarrhoea etc., which could be similar to COVID.

“However, we request people to seek medical care no sooner they are diagnosed with such symptoms without coming to their own conclusions,” she stressed.

Moreover, she said around 19,700 dengue cases have been so far reported this year with 1,378 cases being reported in the month of September, while 10 deaths have also been recorded within this year.

“The public is also asked to be vigilant of all types of mosquito breeding sites and should take steps to destroy them on regular basis in order to keep dengue at bay,” she added.

Meanwhile, Public Health Inspectors Union Head Upul Rohana said although there is an overall dip in COVID cases, a simultaneous surge in dengue and COVID cases could crop up major issues wreaking havoc in the health sector and making them unbearable to handle and tackle both the outbreaks.

“Thus, authorities must keep a close eye on the situation,” he added.

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