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Colombo, Dec 7 – The number of dengue cases in Sri Lanka has surpassed a record 78,000, the highest in three years, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported, citing the National Dengue Control Unit.

Of the 78,000 dengue cases registered from January to November 2023, 46 were fatal, the newspaper reported. The Western Province, considered the most densely populated in the country, saw nearly half of all registered cases, or 36,500.

In 2022, the total number of dengue fever cases in the country reached 76,000. A year earlier, this figure exceeded 35,000, and in 2021, there were a little more than 31,000 cases registered.

According to data from early December, the population of Sri Lanka is 21.9 million people. More than 150,000 tourists visited the country in the first 11 months of 2023.

Dengue fever is a dangerous vector-borne disease that is widespread in regions with subtropical and tropical climates. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are the main carriers of the disease. Without carriers, the disease doesn’t pose an epidemiological threat. Symptoms of dengue include a high fever, nausea, dizziness, headache and lumbar pain. The hemorrhagic variant of the fever is followed by severe internal bleeding caused by collapse of blood vessels. According to the World Health Organization, the mortality rate from the severe form of the disease is 2.5% and can reach 20% without proper treatment.