Saturday, Sep 14, 2002
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By Our Staff Reporter
Though the death of the youth at the Medical College Hospital here has been clinically confirmed as Leptospirosis, serological affirmation is awaited.
According to health officials, the youth hailing from Varkala had undergone treatment for fever at a private hospital and ESI centre before being referred to the Medical College Hospital here.
The mounting garbage in the capital is definitely cause for alarm in the wake of the development as waste disposal is central to any programme to control the rodent population, a health official said. The department is coordinating with the Corporation on waste disposal measures, he added.
There have been over 70 Leptospirosis cases reported in Thiruvananthapuram since June this year. The total number of cases has touched 1,308 with the death toll at 58 up to August this year.
It is being pointed out that the greater numbers of Leptospirosis cases could also be partly be attributed to the increased reporting as a result of higher awareness about the features of the disease both among the public as well as the doctors.
However, this year, a high concentration of Leptospirosis cases have been in Kozhikode and Ernakulam, where the number of confirmed cases of Rat Fever has been 21 and 22 respectively. The mortality figures of cases clinically confirmed as Leptospirosis are much higher in both districts. As of now, there are nine cases under treatment at Kozhikode and 30 cases in Ernakulam.
The Director of Health Services, V. K. Rajan, said the latest reports from the sites of outbreak indicated that the incidence had hit a plateau with a decline in new admissions. The counter strategies involve preventive measures, rodent control initiatives and public education.
According to Prabhakaran Nair, consultant to the Government on communicable diseases, the disease pattern was more in the mode of an upsurge than an outbreak of the rodent-transmitted disease.
Physicians treating fever have been advised to suspect Leptospirosis in all cases of fever with severe myalgia (ache) along with conjunctival suffusion.
On the aggravation of health risks due to the garbage problem in the capital, Dr. Prabhakaran Nair pointed out that while fears could not be discounted, there were also other factors that were crucial for the survival of the Leptospirae organisms such as soil temperature, soil pH and salinity.
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