With the recent rains and the onset of the northeast monsoon, mosquito-borne diseases are on the rise. So far, up to November, 415 cases of dengue fever have been recorded in Colombo for this year, as against 376 cases for the whole of 2007.
According to Colombo Municipal Council chief medical officer Pradeep Kariyawasam, there has been a 30 percent increase in the number of dengue cases reported this year, compared with 2007. “Usually, during the north-east monsoon, the number of dengue and chikungunya cases goes up, especially in the last two months of the year,” he said.
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Colombo areas identified as especially vulnerable to dengue fever, because of the abundance of mosquito-breeding grounds, are Cinnamon Gardens, the Havelock Road stretch, Kirulapone, Thimbirigasyaya, Narahenpita and Dematagoda. Bambalapitiya and Kollupitiya have also been declared high-risk zones.
Mr. Kariyawasam said residents should make sure that drains, gutters and water tanks are cleaned out regularly.
Mosquitoes also breed and flourish in gardens with lots of foliage.
“Plants that hold rainwater and water sources are excellent breeding places,” he said. “Gardens should be well maintained. Make sure that water does not collect within leaves. Artificial ponds, waterfalls and unused swimming pools are ideal breeding spots.”
According to the Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit, 5,600 cases of dengue have been reported across the country up to November this year. Colombo district has reported the highest number of