India rat fever

Updated: 9/8/2018 3:37:01 AM
“Rat fever” has killed up to a further 54 – in the southern Indian state of Kerala since August, after the worst floods in almost a century, authorities said. A total of 372 people have been infected with the disease, known properly as leptospirosis and transmitted in water, soil or food containing urine from rodents and other animals. The bacteria can enter the body through cuts or abrasions on the skin, or through the mouth, nose and eyes, according to the World Health Organisation. Person-to-person transmission is rare. Other disease outbreaks including dengue fever following last month’s floods – which killed almost 500 people and forced more than a million from their homes – have left 28 dead. More than 50,000 people have acute diarrhoea, authorities said. Cases of malaria and chickenpox have also been reported.
Source: DORRIS

Published Friday, September 7, 2018

More than 60 people in the Indian state of Kerala are thought to have died from "rat fever", a disease which has been spreading in the stagnant water left behind after the worst floods in a century.

Rat fever - also known as leptospirosis or Weil’s Disease - is spread in water contaminated by the urine of animals, particularly rats, infected with the bacteria.

The state’s health ministry has confirmed that 13 people have died from the disease, but the total death toll is more than 60 - pending examinations, it said. The ministry has declared an emergency protocol in the Kozhikode district and issued a high alert in several regions of the state.

Reports say the state is facing a shortage of medicine to combat the spread of the disease, with demand surging for the antibiotic doxycycline, which is used as a prophylaxis.

The Kozhikode area needs around three million tablets over the next two months, but currently only has about 500,000 in stock, Dr RS Gopakumar, a state medical officer, said.

“We have got supplies, but the stocks have been depleting fast,” Dr Gopakumar told Reuter.

The antibiotic needs to be taken weekly for at least four weeks.
Source: DORRIS