The Health Ministry says that the death toll from the AH1-N1 influenza virus which had been spreading in the country in the recent months had risen to 40.
Among those dead, were 10 pregnant mothers and more than 150 patients suspected of being afflicted by the seasonal virus are being treated at various hospitals, the Health Ministry added.
Health Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit Senior Registrar Dr. Athula Liyanapathirana said that all state hospitals in the country had been put on alert and children less than 2 years of age, adults above 65 years and pregnant mothers had been labelled as ‘high risk factors’.
He added that an anti viral drug had also been provided to all the hospitals in the country to treat the patients who were most severely affected by the virus.
“We urge the public to seek medical attention immediately if they contract fly symptoms such as a fever, cold, cough and a soar throat. We have analyzed that those who had died due to the virus had delayed seeking medical advise,” Liyanapathirana said.
The Health Ministry has provided health care givers with protective equipment such as special masks that give special protection during aerosol generating procedures, involving coughing and sneezing.
The Health Ministry has also warned the public to avoid crowded places and travelling in congested public transport in order to avoid coming in contact with those affected by the virus. In 2013, an estimated 30 people died by the AH1-N1 influenza disease in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)