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Health experts warn of surge in seasonal diseases amidst heavy rains in Sri Lanka

May 28, Colombo (LNW): With the heavy rains sweeping across Sri Lanka, health authorities are expressing serious concerns about a surge in seasonal illnesses such as dengue, leptospirosis, diarrheal diseases, and influenza.

The onset of the rainy season significantly elevates the risk of several serious health conditions, warned experts.

“Dengue fever poses a substantial threat during this period. Increased rainfall leads to more stagnant water, which provides breeding grounds for Aedes mosquitoes. It is imperative for the public to eliminate standing water around their homes and utilise mosquito repellents,” Dr. LakKumar Fernando told Daily Mirror.

He also noted an unprecedented rise in influenza cases over recent weeks.

Leptospirosis, or ‘rat fever,’ is another major concern. A senior health official explained that flooded areas can become contaminated with the urine of infected animals, facilitating the spread of leptospirosis.

Individuals working in waterlogged conditions should wear protective clothing and seek medical advice if they experience symptoms like fever, headache, and muscle pain, he explained.

Dr. Deepal Perera, consultant paediatrician at Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH), highlighted the risk of waterborne diseases.

“The incidence of diarrheal diseases tends to increase during the monsoon due to contaminated water sources. Ensuring access to clean drinking water and maintaining good hygiene practices are critical,” he noted.

Additionally, respiratory infections often rise with increased humidity and damp conditions.

“There is typically a spike in cases of the common cold, influenza, and asthma exacerbations during the rainy season. It is important to stay warm and dry, and to seek medical attention for persistent respiratory symptoms,” advised Dr. Perera.

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