Leptospirosis and related mortality rates on the rise after floods

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Number of suspected leptospirosis cases rose to 209 from August 1 to September 3 in Kozhikode with the reporting of 22 suspected cases on Monday while the number of confirmed cases rose to 104 with the reporting of 20 fresh cases on the day.

With leptospirosis cases and related mortality rates showing a spike in the state, the Health Department has found themselves in a catch-22 situation.

Last month devastating floods ravaged Kerala killing almost 400 people.

Leptospriosis (also called Weil's disease) is spread through rats or animal fluids, and can enter the human body through small cuts in the skin or through the eyes, nose and mouth.

The disease can cause jaundice, the coughing up of blood, chest pains, swollen joints and a high temperature - which can be treated with antibiotics or in a hospital in more severe cases.

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As many as 33 people have died in Kerala due to leptospirosis while 68 people have been hospitalised with suspected symptoms of the disease. Due to this, a special isolation ward has been opened at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital. Quashing these reports, officials from the state Health Department have confirmed that there is no need to worry about this at present.

He added that all hospitals are equipped with enough stocks of medicine, even though there were extensive advisories after the flood, people were reluctant to consume precautionary tablets.

With Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan leaving for medical treatment to the US, Industries Minister E.P.Jayarajan, the de facto number two in the government, told the media that elaborate arrangements had been made and medicines would be given for free to all. Around two lakh people are reported to have come in contact with the flood water.

Symptoms include fever, nausea, muscle aches, vomiting, and diarrhoea.

Over a fortnight after the massive floods ravaged the state, affecting almost 55 lakh people, about 13,000 people were still in various relief camps, State Disaster Control Room officials said. Elderly people suffering from kidney and liver ailments are the most susceptible.

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