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Dengue fever kills 245 people in Sri Lanka
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The number of Dengue cases has risen to 24,395 while 245 people have died of the disease in Sri Lanka so far, officials from the Epidemiological Unit of the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

Of the 24,395 cases, the highest number of patients were reported from June totaling 7,048. It is followed by July with 6,858 cases being reported.

This represents a sharp increase as only 4,156 Dengue cases and 85 deaths were reported for the whole year of 2008.

Health officials said the majority of these cases have been reported from the areas of Kandy, Kegalle, Colombo, Gampaha and Kurunegala.

The rapid rise in the level of the epidemic has forced the health authorities to carry out extensive public awareness campaign to eradicate the mosquito based epidemic.

Households have been warned to keep the environment free of mosquitoes. Those who allow the mosquitoes to breed by allowing stagnating water face prosecution with a special hotline being made available for public information.

(Xinhua News Agency August 27, 2009)

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