Cause of child deaths yet to be clarified

It is yet uncertain whether an unidentified virus had caused deaths at the children’s section at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle, Karapitiya Hospital Director Dr. Jayampathi Senanayake said.

However, unofficial reports state that 13 children had died after being infected with the unidentified virus.

The Director said that there was no reason to panic. “We have sent the blood samples of the deceased to Colombo. We informed the Ministry about the situation and had taken many protective measures,” Dr.. Jayampathi Senanayake said.

“We warned about the influenza virus which could spread among schools of the Southern Province.

‘We alerted the schools of the virus. We also have an expert of the subject and consulted him and implemented strategies to prevent the virus from spreading. However, there is no need to close the schools yet,” Southern Province Education Director Nimal Dissanayake said.

Southern Province Medical Services Director Dr. G. Wijesuriya stated that influenza has the potential of emerging as an epidemic. “It is not yet confirmed about the connection between the children’s deaths at the Karapitiya Hospital and the virus. Further experiments are carried out to learn about the connection,” he said.

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