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Forces boost dengue fever campaign

02 July 2012 09:08

Mosquito breeding grounds will be targeted to prevent the disease spreading further

Mosquito breeding grounds will be targeted to prevent the disease spreading further

Security forces in Sri Lanka have joined efforts to destroy mosquito-breeding grounds as the country tries to contain dengue fever.

The illness, which has already killed more than 74 people and infected 15,000 others this year, is a flu-like disease spread by infected Aedes mosquitoes.

More than 10,000 security personnel have now joined government officials in a month-long initiative to eradicate the illness.

Even if the scheme appears to be successful in wiping out the problem, anyone travelling to the country in the near future might want to have additional assurances by taking out a medical travel insurance policy.

It is believed that the disease, which spikes during annual monsoons as the insects breed in stagnant water, has grown because residents have been careless about cleanliness and removing breeding grounds.

During the first fortnight of the dengue fever campaign officials are planning to inspect buildings and tell residents to keep things tidy.

If they fail to comply they could face fines and up to six months in jail.

The disease begins with a high fever, strong headache, rash and pain behind the eyes.

Sufferers also experience pain in muscles and joints, which is why it has been given the nickname "breakbone fever".

Other common symptoms are loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.