Leptospirosis haunts Kerala post flood, 10 died

A Relief Camp in Aranmula  File

The five districts are Kozhikode, Palakkad, Thrissur, Malappuram and Ernakulam from where the most cases have been reported. Leptospirosis cases were already.

Leading the pack is "rat fever" or leptospirosis, a bacterial disease transmitted in water containing urine from rodents and other animals.

People ride a motorbike past the rubble of a small restaurant which collapsed due to floods in Paravur in Kerala, August 21, 2018.

The report quoted a senior health official as saying at least 300 suspected cases were reported from the state in the last three days.

People with wounds or cuts are more likely to catch the disease and are advised to avoid contact stagnant or contaminated water.

"In the past week, we have seen about 30 deaths in Kozhikode and Wayanad", said Mohammed Javeed, internal medicine specialist at a private hospital in Kerala, referring to two of the worst flood-affected districts on the state's southwest coast.

Additional Chief Secretary Rajeev Sadanand had also told TNM earlier that a number of cases coming in now were likely to be due to the fact that many people had not taken the precautionary measures and urged for those who had not yet taken doxycycline to do so.

On Sunday, Health Minister KK Shailaja assured that there was no need to panic.

With Kozhikode reporting the maximum number of cases, a special isolation ward has been opened at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital. The symptoms include high fever, rashes, chills.

The separate death toll from the monsoon floods that forced more than a million people from their homes in Kerala last month has meanwhile risen to 486, the government said.

Health Department officials have also asked people working in certain sectors, such as sanitation workers and dairy farmers, to take extra precautions as they have a higher risk of being exposed to the bacteria and contracting the infection.

Rat fever rarely spreads from person to person and can be treated with common antibiotics. Communicable diseases in the state have killed 84 people since the beginning of August, including 20 people in the past two days.



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