The death toll during the post-flood outbreak of suspected leptospirosis, a transmissible disease commonly known as rat fever and caused by direct contact with body fluids – usually urine – from infected animals, in Kerala in the last one week rose to 32 with the considers more individuals, including four women who die from the symptoms of infection on Sunday.
After the deterioration of the disease situation, the Ministry of Health issued extreme warning in 13 of the 14 districts in the state. It opened a control room in the District Medical Office in Kozhikode, the district that has been most affected by the disease so far, and asked those who had a fever and had symptoms to seek urgent medical attention.
Of the eight deaths reported on Sunday, three were confirmed as cases of leptospirosis. Rat fever was confirmed on Sunday in 33 subjects who were being treated. A whopping 85 patients with symptoms were treated in the isolation department of the Government Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode, the district with the largest number of leptospirosis cases.
A 17-person doctor team deployed by the Union Health Department started working in the district of Kozhikode, while special departments were set up in all district hospitals there. Temporary hospitals, each with a doctor and a nurse, will function in the Kozhikode district by Monday at 16 places.
Thousands of people had sought medical help during the past month with symptoms of leptospirosis at government hospitals in Kerala. The rush of patients with symptoms had increased since August 22 when the flood waters began to withdraw in many places, health officials said.