Woman Dies of Rat Fever in Thiruvananthapuram, Death Toll Reaches 15

Alicia Farmer
September 5, 2018

Eleven confirmed and 21 suspected cases of dengue were also reported in the state.

The surge in cases comes after torrential rain beginning on August 8 flooded nearly the entire state, killing hundreds of people, destroying thousands of homes and causing at least 200 billion rupees ($2.81 billion) worth of damage.

The disaster - the worst floods the tourist haven of Kerala has witnessed in a century - killed almost 500 people, drove one million out of their homes, knocked buildings down, washed away farmland, and destroyed major roads and bridges.

A health ministry spokesman said as of Sunday there had been almost 200 confirmed cases of what is locally called rat fever - the waterborne disease leptospirosis transmitted via the urine of infected animals, with symptoms including muscle pain and fever.

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. Health minister KK Shailaja said that the public need not panic as the situation is under control.

Enough stock of the medicine was available in all health centres and government hospitals in the state, she added.

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With a woman died on Sunday morning at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital, 300 cases of leptospirosis have been reported in the last three days of which 60 cases were reported in Kozhikode and the rest were from Palakkad, Thrissur, Malappuram and Ernakulam.

With Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan leaving for medical treatment to the US, Industries Minister E P Jayarajan told media that elaborate arrangements had been made and medicines would be given for free to all.

Health Department officials have also asked people working in certain sectors, such as sanitation workers and dairy farmers, to take extra precautions as they have a higher risk of being exposed to the bacteria and contracting the infection.

"He was suffering from high fever and severe headaches".

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

The state government has deployed special units of doctors and nurses to flood-affected areas, officials said. Elderly people suffering from kidney and liver ailments are the most susceptible.

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