September 22nd, 2011
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Rat fever: Minister holds emergency meeting

rat feverKozhikode: Health Minister Adoor Prakash has convened an emergency meeting of senior health officials and medical experts to discuss measures to be taken to handle the sudden outbreak of Rat fever. The minister who had been to New Delhi cut short his visit and rushed back to the state to deal with the current problem the northern districts of Kerala is facing.

The minister assured that there is no need for panic as there was sufficient stock of medicines in government hospitals. The health department has mobilized medical teams for epidemiological investigation and intensified field activities in the northern districts of Kasargode, Kannur and Kozhikode. They believe that incessant rain has led to a spate of leptospirosis. The treatment protocol to be followed has been sent to all government and private hospitals, health officials said.

A team of senior health officials, including Director of Health Services P K Jameela, Additional director of Health Services N Sreedhar, and Director of Medical Education V Geetha have decided to rush to Kozhikode to supervise filed level activities and to ensure that those affected are given proper treatment. A team of scientists from the National Centre for Disease Control led by U V S Rana, Joint Director, Division of Zoonosis, will be arriving in Kozhikode tomorrow for a detailed investigation, a senior health officials said.

Clinical symptoms of the disease are similar to that of viral fever and hence all doctors have been given instructions to ask about the patient’s occupation before starting treatment.

Seven people who were detected with Rat bite fever succumbed to death at the Calicut Medical College, in one week. Of the six who died three were from Kozhikode, two from Malappuram and one from Kannur. The death toll thus rose to 13. A total of 489 confirmed cases of leptospirosis and 45 deaths have been reported in the State this year so far. Last year, 850 cases of leptospirosis and 85 deaths had been reported across the State.

Leptospiriosis has accounted for atleast 100 deaths every year in the state. Early diagnosis is essential. More dialysis facilities have been arranged in the Kozhikode and Pariyaram Medical Colleges.



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