Published: Wed, September 05, 2018
Medical | By

Woman dies of rat fever in flood-hit Kerala

Woman dies of rat fever in flood-hit Kerala

Commenting on the health crises in state Health Minister K K Shailaja has assured that there is no need to panic as remedial measures have been in implementation.

The rat fever transmits from animals to humans that usually cause harm in flood situations.

A total of 71 people tested positive for rat fever in various hospitals in the state while 123 people approached hospitals with suspected symptoms of the disease.

Minister Shailaja said many cases were the result of ignoring advice to take a preventive tablet, Doxycycline, that was made available at no cost across the state. The health department also suffered sizable loss.

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.

In New Delhi, India's central government classified the floods as a "calamity of severe nature" and committed $84.3m so far.

Rat fever rarely spreads from person to person and can be treated with common antibiotics.

"It is a big challenge but we will overcome it", she said.

Early symptoms of leptospirosis such as high fever, muscle ache, vomiting, red eyes and chills are similar to those of other diseases, making it hard for health workers to diagnose. Standing water precipitated by heavy rainfall or overflow of rivers can act as breeding sites for mosquitoes, and subsequently pork up the aptitude for the breeding of vectors of dengue, chikungunya, malaria, Eastern encephalitis, West Nile Fever, kala azar, scrub typhus and loads others.

More than 50,000 people have acute diarrhoea, authorities said.

The five districts are Kozhikode, Palakkad, Thrissur, Malappuram and Ernakulam, from where most of the suspected cases were reported.

"Any such natural calamity is usually followed by a sudden spike in cases of such diseases". "We have been advising the people to rush to the hospital if they have such symptoms".

He told Reuters: "This time it is a fast, progressive infection".

If treatment is delayed, rat fever could affect the liver, kidney, lungs and heart, leading to death.

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