SL takes precautions against yellow fever

13 August 2011 01:07 am - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In a move to prevent the dreaded yellow fever entering Sri Lanka, a special Quarantine Unit (QU) has been set up at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to monitor passengers especially those arriving from South America and Africa where this disease is rampant.

The Health Ministry and Minister Maithripala Sirisena have held several rounds of talks about the risk posed by yellow fever, which may be passed on by passengers arriving from these subtropical countries.

“The danger is that the carriers of yellow fever are dengue mosquitoes. Mosquito species like Aedes aegypti linnaeus carry the yellow fever virus which is a haemorrhagic disease,” Government Epidemiology Unit (GEU) Director Dr. Prabha Palihawadana said.

She said the yellow fever virus was transmitted by the bite of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti and other species and was found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa.

Symptoms of Yellow fever include fever, nausea and pain and generally subside after several days. In some patients, a toxic phase follows in which liver damage and jaundice can occur and lead to death.

Dr. Palihawadana said because of the increased bleeding yellow fever belongs to the group of haemorrhagic fever. Since no therapy is known, vaccination programmes along with measures to reduce the mosquito population was of great importance.

The quarantine unit will check all air passengers arriving from American and African countries at the BIA to check whether they had been infected with the virus and if so they will be isolated and treated in a special ward exclusively set up at the Colombo North Teaching Hospital. The yellow fever virus spreads only through dengue mosquitoes.

Meanwhile, a Ministry spokesman said Minister Sirisena had instructed officials to prepare a programme to prevent yellow fever entering the country and remedial measures that have to be taken when someone with yellow fever entered the country.

Ministry spokesman W. M. D. Wanninayaka said Minister Sirisena has directed the Colombo National Hospital and hospitals in the Colombo suburbs to be equipped with drugs and medical equipment needed to treat yellow fever. (By Sandun A. Jayasekera)

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  • LoneRanger Saturday, 13 August 2011 02:09 AM

    Plan to develop a new vaccine or shout "Help Help"!

    James Castaldo Saturday, 13 August 2011 04:07 PM

    Checking the passengers arriving in CMB is okay. BUT, we need to know if we should get vaccinated against Yellow Fever, before visiting Sri Lanka.

    Thanks. A Tourist.


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