A patient diagnosed with the meningococcal meningitis bacterial disease, which caused the deaths of several inmates at the Galle Prison, has been identified in the Colombo District.


It was revealed that the patient is a 49-year-old man residing in the Ja-Ela area, and an employee of an institution in the Ratmalana Medical Officer of Health (MOH) Division.

He has been admitted to the General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University (KDU) Hospital, due to an illness, where he was referred to the Colombo National Hospital for some medical tests and further treatment, the Medical Officer of Health in Ratmalana Dr. J.M. Gunathilake said.

Dr. Gunathilake further emphasized that about 30 close contacts of this person have been tested at his workplace and measures were taken to provide them with antibiotics.

Meanwhile, the Media Spokesman of the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), Dr. Chamil Wijesinghe mentioned that identifying at least one person infected with the meningococcus bacteria is also quite alarming.

“We are requesting the Director of Health Services in charge of the Western Province, as well as the Director of Health Services in charge of the Southern Province, to take the measures to control the spread of ‘brain fever’ in the Western and Southern provinces, since the schools are scheduled to open in a few days.”

“We also urge them to prepare a proper program to raise awareness among the public since parents may have undue fear regarding the matter”, he added.

However last week, the Epidemiology Unit emphasized that the general public should not have undue fears about the meningococcal meningitis bacterial disease, since patients suffering from the same illness are reported in Sri Lanka every year, adding that it is not an uncommon occurrence.

Earlier in August, two inmates at the Galle Prison died while over a dozen others were hospitalized due to an illness that initially remained ‘unknown.’ The cause of death and hospitalization was later attributed to meningococcal meningitis, a bacterial form of meningitis caused by meningococcus bacteria.


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