10 killed in rat fever in Kerala, government issues alert

Ben Davidson
September 6, 2018

Kerala was put on high alert for three weeks now.

With the outbreak of water-borne diseases in flood-ravaged Kerala, the state government has issued an alert to people to maintain extra vigil.

At least 34 deaths in the state since August are suspected to be from leptospirosis. Narayani, 80, hailing from Vadakara, died of leptospirosis while Anil, 54, from Eranhikkal died of suspected leptospirosis on Monday. However, authorities believe the number of deaths due to leptospirosis could rise as the cause of a number of deaths is still being investigated.

The health minister directed all medical officers to follow 30-day micro action plan to combat leptospirosis. Seventy-one others were said to be carrying the disease in Kozhikode and Pathanamthitta districts. The health minister also directed to form Arogya Sena covering 20 houses in all the panchayats to ensure the chlorination of water sources in their respective limits. Twenty-eight of these were subsequently confirmed as leptospirosis cases, the health official quoted above said.

As per the Kerala health officials, around two million people have affected due to the floods and also come in the contact of the flood water, hence, all of them required to take precautions and preventions.

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Two workers involved in clean-up operations after the deluge in Kerala succumbed to rat fever on Sunday, taking the toll in the epidemic to 45 in three days. The disease, which was first reported in the state this monsoon on August 26, is transmitted by a bacteria that has a lifespan of seven to 12 days. PV George, 62, retried panchayath secretary from Kadanad and MR Divakaran, 60, Thalayolaparambu native, too died of the suspected fever.

In the north-eastern state of Nagaland, 11 people have died and 50,000 others are stranded across some 530 villages, with roads including the national highway into the state cut.

"We can control this if everyone follow the instructions of the health department".

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

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