Sri Lanka’s health officials on Thursday warned that a new virus affecting children was spreading in the island’s south and five deaths had already been reported.
The Government Information Department quoting medical officials said the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle had been experiencing an increase in the number of patients who arrived with a fever over the past few days.
According to doctors, patients who were admitted include children aged two to three years old as well as infants who are less than six months old.
The symptoms of the disease include high fever, cough and breathing difficulties.
Dr. Aruna De Silva of the Pediatric Unit at Karapitiya Hospital said the doctors had examined the matter and had identified that the situation arose as a result of a virus that causes Pneumonia.
He added that the disease is caused by the Influenza and Adino viruses and it affects children who are less than two years old.
Sri Lankan Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne urged those suffering from these symptoms to seek medical attention immediately.
Health officials in the southern province said the staff at all divisions had been notified to identify the disease-affected areas.
The epidemiology unit of the Health Ministry has also commenced a broad investigation into the deaths at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital.