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Dengue in Sri Lanka

05 Aug 2019

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Health reports ongoing transmission of dengue throughout the country. From 1 January 2019 to 5 August 2019 there have been 35267 cases, with Colombo, Gampaha, Galle, Kalutara, Kandy, Jaffna, Matara, Ratnapura and Kurunegala reporting the greatest numbers o cases.

Advice for Travellers

All travellers to regions where dengue occurs are potentially at risk of dengue fever and should be aware of this infection. Prevention relies on avoiding mosquito bites at all times.

Aedes mosquitoes are particularly persistent and aggressive.

Methods of bite avoidance include:

• Wearing long, loose, lightly coloured clothing to cover up the skin at all times.

• The use of insect repellent containing DEET applied to any exposed skin at all times.

• When sunscreen and DEET are used together, DEET should be applied after sunscreen. The effectiveness of repellent reduces more rapidly than sunscreen, therefore, repellent may have to be reapplied on top of sunscreen.

• The use of permethrin, impregnated mosquito nets protects against early morning bites and should also be used when sleeping during the day.

• The use of air conditioning if available and/or mesh screening of windows and doors.

• Eradication of mosquito breeding sites around accommodation/home (e.g. open containers, old tyres or flower pots that may collect water).

Vaccine

No vaccine against dengue fever has been licensed for use in the UK.

For further information see Dengue Fever.