People should be vigilant of a virus that is spreading in the southern province, says Health officials. The virus which is most common among children has already claimed the lives of five in the past month. The Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle has been experiencing an increase in the number of patients who arrived with a fever over the past few days.
According to the Doctors, patients who are being admitted included children who are just 2 and 3-years -old as well as infants who are less than 6-months-old. The Symptoms of the disease have been identified as high fever, cough, and breathing difficulties.
Dr. Aruna De Silva of the Pediatric Unit at Karapitiya Hospital states that they have examined the matter with other doctors in the hospital and have identified that the situation arises as a result of a virus that causes Pneumonia. He added that the disease is caused by the Influenza and Adino viruses and it affects children who are less than 2 years old.
A 6-month-old infant died on the 10th of May after being admitted to the hospital. The infant was from the Horagoda area in Matara, Akuressa. It was reported that the infant was admitted to the Karapitiya Hospital on the 25th of April and was later transferred to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital in Colombo. The post-mortem examination revealed that the caused of death was Pneumonia.
Meanwhile, another infant of 9-months passed away on Saturday (May 12). The infant was a resident of the Galbokka area in Weligama. The infant was initially admitted to the Matara hospital and had later been transferred to the Karapitiya hospital. This post-mortem examination also revealed that the caused of death was Pneumonia.
According to the Director of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Dr. Jayampathi Senanayake, several steps have been taken within the hospital such as visiting time being reduced, limiting children being brought into the hospital, wearing face masks and gloves inside the wards.
The health services office of the southern province announced that the staff at all divisions have been notified to identify the areas that have been affected by the disease. The epidemiology unit of the ministry of health has commenced a broad investigation into the deaths at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital.
Director of the Unit Dr. Anil Dissanayake said officials of the Medical Health Institute, as well as microbiologists of the Karapitiya hospital, will be carrying out the examinations. Minister Of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne speaking about the matter stated that it is a virus, therefore they cannot identify it at once. He added that the specialist doctors have informed them about the steps that should be taken to prevent this and if there are symptoms take the patient to a hospital as quickly as possible.