December 09, 2018

Indian State Battles 'Rat Fever' Outbreak After Worst Floods In History

05 September 2018, 08:14 | Silvia Roy

A Relief Camp in Aranmula File

A Relief Camp in Aranmula  File

"The contemporary floods could perchance in a roundabout scheme lead to an develop in vector-borne diseases during the enlargement in the quantity and fluctuate of vector breeding habitats".

"Today in Kozhikode we have seen 57 new suspected cases, totally we now have 239 suspected cases of the fever", said Kozhikode District Medical Officer (DMO) Dr Jayashree. There are 372 confirmed cases of the rat fever have emerged in Kerala while there are 719 suspected cases since August.

The health ministry began distributing preventive medicine last month and warned about the outbreak of leptospirosis and other waterborne diseases such as typhoid and cholera, Health Minister K.K. Shailaja told reporters.

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With Kozhikode reporting the maximum number of cases, a special isolation ward has been opened at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital.

Cases of malaria, dengue fever, and chicken pox have also been reported.

Two other people - identified as Raja, 48, from Aluva in Ernakulam district and Santosh, 42, from Angadippuram in Malappuram district, died of fever. "The host of this disease is the rat, hence the name rat fever", said Rajeev Sadanandan, chief secretary at Kerala's health department. The latest death was reported at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital where a woman died on Sunday morning due to the disease that transmits from animals to humans. The health minister also advised people in flood-hit areas that they should take some precautions and also a course of doxycycline. Enough stock of the medicine was available in all health centres and government hospitals in the State, she said.

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The number of dead from the monsoon floods, which began earlier than usual at the end of May, has risen to 486 in the state of Kerala, the government said.

Shailaja said health workers had been directed to monitor people approaching them with suspected rat fever symptoms, collect their data and ensure they are adequately treated. 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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