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Infant deaths from influenza rises to 17 in the south

Two more children who were being treated at the ICU of Karapitiya Teaching Hospital for influenza, had passed away over the weekend, Hospital Director, Hospital Director Dr. Jayampathi Senanayake said. The infant deaths due to the viral fever in the Southern province have risen to 17.


Dr. Senanayake said that 37 other children afflicted with Influenza, were being treated at her hospital. Out of the 17 deaths 16 had occurred at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. All of them were below two years of age and the symptoms of the disease


were fever, cough, cold and headache.


World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that Seasonal influenza viruses circulate and cause disease in humans every year. ‘In Sri Lanka, for the last few years, it has been generally observed that during April to June and again in November to January. It spreads from person to person through sneezing, coughing, or touching contaminated surfaces. Seasonal influenza viruses can cause mild to severe illness and even death, particularly in some high-risk individuals. Persons at increased risk for severe disease includes pregnant women, the very young and very old, immune-compromised people, and people with chronic underlying medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes mellitus and heart diseases. Seasonal influenza viruses evolve continuously, which means that people can get infected multiple times throughout their lives.’

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