Leptospirosis claims 60 lives in Kerala

Leptospirosis claims 60 lives in Kerala
Highlights

A communicable diseases has taken over Kerala weeks after heavy rain and flooding inundated The disease has claimed the lives of 60 people Health officials now fear that leptospirosis cases might probably claim lives this year just like dengue did in 2017

KOCHI: A communicable diseases has taken over Kerala weeks after heavy rain and flooding inundated. The disease has claimed the lives of 60 people. Health officials now fear that leptospirosis cases might probably claim lives this year just like dengue did in 2017.

An analysis of the data available with the directorate of health services (DHS) from August 15 showed that nine people who died were tested positive for leptospirosis. At the same time, the number of suspected cases of leptospirosis deaths stood at 39. Eleven died of fever and one of dengue. “It is universally accepted that of the total leptospirosis cases, 13% can die due to the disease. This happened every year, except in 2017, when deaths due to rat fever was less,” said DHS additional director (public health) Dr Reena KJ. This year, nearly 214 persons have died of communicable diseases.

From the 29th of August, on an average, there were 25 to 35 confirmed cases of leptospirosis and one or two deaths due to rat fever. On Sunday, the number of confirmed deaths due to leptospirosis was three, while 33 new cases were confirmed.

“Even before the floods, we had leptospirosis cases and after floods we expected an increase. Lakhs of people might have come in contact with the germ in flood-affected areas, but less than 400 persons have tested positive for rat fever. We also have leptospirosis cases from places like Thiruvananthapuram where there was less flooding,” said Dr Reena. Soon after floods, the public health department came up with a 30-day action plan.

However, the department is yet to get a complete analysis report on the number of confirmed leptospirosis cases, initial analysis showed that most of the patients who were tested positive for rat fever didn’t immediately consult a doctor. They chose self-medication in the first two-three days and it proved to be fatal.

Also, preliminary analysis showed that it was those who didn’t consume doxycycline for prophylaxis against leptospiral infection and leptospirosis (preventive medication) contracted the disease.

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