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| Updated on Jul 28, 2016

Sri Lanka Major Infectious Diseases

Sri Lanka is a South East Asian country known for its diverse religions, ethnic groups and languages. What many people don’t know is the different infectious diseases in Sri Lanka.

Most common Infectious Diseases: Water related Diseases: -Cholera: is an infection of the small intestine due to contaminated water. The most common symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea.

-Hepatitis A & E: Hepatitis A is transmitted through eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.

-Typhoid Fever: Is transmitted by eating contaminated food and water due to a bacteria.

Diseases related to Overcrowding or Mosquito Bites: -Measles:

-Meningococcal Disease: it is caused by bacteria and can be prevented by a vaccine. It is a blood infection that can cause intravascular coagulation.

-Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis (TB) is an airborne disease, spread by an infected person. The most common symptoms are a persistent cough, fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite. TB is particularly dangerous for people who have weakened immune systems from medications or illness. It can be treated with antibiotics.

  • Whooping Cough: Whooping cough, or Pertussis, is transmitted from an infected person. Although anyone can be infected by whooping cough, it is most dangerous to babies, and in some cases can be lethal. Vaccines exist for whooping cough. The most common symptoms are cold-like to begin with, but can develop into a persistent and uncontrollable cough. A sticky phlegm often affects the respiratory system, which can cause complications for babies.

  • Diphtheria: It is a bacterial infection of the throat & occasionally of the skin. It is found worldwide and is transmitted from person-to-person by coughing and sneezing.

-Dengue: is transmitted by an infected mosquito bite. It does not spread directly from person to person. The most common symptoms of the fever are: a high temperature, nausea, pain in the joints, fatigue, and intense headache.

-Japanese Encephalitis: is transmitted by an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms are: headache, high fever, disorientation, coma, tremors and convulsions. There is no specific treatment but it may be prevented by a vaccine.

-Chikungunya: this mosquito born disease has recently affected many Sri Lankans. Symptoms typically start 3 to 7 days (up to 12 days) after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. An abrupt onset of fever is usually accompanied by joint pains (arthralgia), swelling and stiffness. Other common symptoms include headache, muscle pains, nausea, fatigue and sometimes a rash on the truck and limbs, which may last for 7 to 10 days. Most people feel better within a week but joint pains associated with chikungunya may be debilitating, and may last for prolonged periods. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pains can persist for months or years.

Malaria: There is no Malaria in the Colombo district as such but it is present in rural parts of Sri Lanka. Depends where you will be traveling in Sri Lanka if you should take antimalarial medicine or not.

Infectious Diseases with Vaccines: -Hepatitis A -Typhoid Fever -Tetanus Vaccine (Diphtheria & Pertussis vaccines can be added to this vaccine) -Japanese Encephalitis -Meningococcal Disease

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