Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 2 : Fifty one persons have died in Kerala due to communicable diseases as a woman on Sunday became the latest victim of leptospirosis but Health Minister K.K. Shailaja said that there was no need to panic as 464 people have been admitted to hospitals after the floodwaters receded from the affected areas across the state.
Leptospirosis, popularly known as rat fever is a communicable disease which is caused by direct contact with body fluids (usually urine) of an infected animal, usually rats.High alert for the rat fever was sounded in various districts of flood-battered Kerala as seven are confirmed cases of leptospirosis, 34 are suspected leptospirosis deaths, nine died of fever and one of dengue.
In the past two days, several people have died due to the disease that transmits from animals to humans. The risk of contaminating the disease is high during flooding.
According to officials at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital, the woman died on Sunday morning.
As of Sunday, 40 cases of leptospirosis were reported in the state. Kozhikode reported 28 such cases and the rest were from Alappuzha, Thrissur and Pathanamthitta.
Shailaja said there was no need to panic as the health department had taken all the necessary actions. “Every hospital is stocked with all the required medicines.”
The Minister advised people in the flood-hit areas to take precautions and a course of doxycycline.
With Kozhikode reporting the maximum number of cases, a special isolation ward has been opened at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital.
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.
According to Kerala health officials, around two million people in the state would have come in contact with the flood waters and hence all of them should take preventive care.