COLOMBO, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Seventy four people had died and over 55,000 had been infected by the dengue virus across Sri Lanka till the second week of October this year, the government information department quoted the Epidemiology Unit as saying on Monday.
Till Oct. 18, a total of 55,894 dengue cases were reported, with the highest number of cases reported in Colombo district which stood at 11,854, Gampaha, on the outskirts of Colombo, with 8,976, and Kalutara, also on the outskirts of Colombo, with 5,456.
The Epidemiology Unit said it had identified five high-risk districts, including Colombo, Gampaha, Galle, Kalutara in the Western Province and Ratnapura in south central Sri Lanka.
Medical experts said the number of deaths recorded so far this year was "alarming" as a total of 58 deaths were reported last year.
"Seventy four dengue deaths is an alarming rate when it comes to a period of only 10 months. In the whole last year, only 58 dengue deaths were reported," epidemiologists said.
Medical experts urged people to seek immediate medical attention if they suffer from high fever, uncontrolled vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness and reduced urinary.
"All fever patients need rest and should refrain from attending work or school," said epidemiologists, adding that Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) can be fatal.
Medical experts further urged pregnant women to seek hospital admission immediately on the first day of fever.
Last year, over 48,000 were affected by the mosquito-borne virus in Sri Lanka, with the National Dengue Control Unit launching several programs to eradicate mosquito's breeding grounds in several districts of the island country.