'Rat fever' outbreak in Kerala after devastating floods, 12 dead since August

03 September 2018, 11:02 PM
'Rat fever' outbreak in Kerala after devastating floods (Photo: Twitter/@KeralaTourism)
'Rat fever' outbreak in Kerala after devastating floods (Photo: Twitter/@KeralaTourism)

At least 12 people have died in Kerala since August 1 due to the outbreak of waterborne disease leptospirosis, locally known as 'rat fever' after the worst flooding in a century. Six of the total people have died in the last three days. After the devastating floods in the state, as many 54 people were suspected to have died due to the waterborne disease.

Although Kerala is not alien to Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease, the recent increase in the cases have increased after the floods. Earlier between January and June, the ‘rat fever’ had claimed 28 lives across the state.

Also Read | Rains, floods claimed over 1,400 people this monsoon, says Home Ministry

Leptospirosis is a rare bacterial disease that spread through animal’s urine. It enters the human body through cuts and cracks on the feet. Although the disease is not life-threatening and last slightly over than a week, it can prove fatal if the patient doesn’t get the required treatment for a long time.

Normal symptoms of the ‘rat fever’ are - headache, muscle pain, jaundice, diarrhoea. In case of the severe form of leptospirosis, more serious symptoms like chest pain and swollen arms and legs can also occur.

The flood waters in the state have now almost receded and the state is facing a mammoth task of rehabilitation of lakhs of homeless people and preventing disease outbreak with the shortage of funds.

Also Read | Nagaland floods: State requires Rs 800 crore 'immediately' 

Giving updates about the rebuilding work, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday had said that the sanitization work of 81 per cent of the flood-affected houses had been completed. A total 4,72,633 houses had been cleaned till August 1. Vijayan said that a 14,000-member strong squad is working on the sanitisation task.

The Kerala CM had also urged Malayalees all over the world to donate a month’s salary for restoration work. With situation improving, 14,22,707 people had returned to their homes till Saturday and the number of people in the camps came down to 28,000.

Kerala Needs You: Here is how you can donate and help flood-hit people

First Published: Monday, September 03, 2018 10:01 PM
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