The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday issued a ‘yellow alert’ for rains in several districts of Kerala. It also said that heavy rains will continue in the state till May 29. The pre-monsoon rains are due to the low-pressure area formed over the southeast Arabian Sea. Due to the heavy rainfall, nearly 13 people have lost their lives in rain-related accidents.

Also, there has been waterlogging which has contaminated water sources. These water sources then lead to several health issues, one of them being leptospirosis. There have been more than 41 deaths due to leptospirosis in the state. Dr Rajeev Jayadevan of the Indian Medical Association’s Kerala unit, according to a report in The New Indian Express said, “Contact with water contaminated with animal urine must be avoided. The bacteria leptospira can enter the body through tiny wounds. The patient may experience fever, headache and muscle pain. Delayed treatment can even lead to death.”

Dr Rajeev added, “Consulting a doctor early is important. Also, preventative medicine is available at government health centres for those at high risk of contracting the disease.”

Dr Anish T S of the Government Medical College in Manjeri said that there might be an outbreak of leptospirosis. He added, “Leptospirosis can cause death in 10 per cent of the people infected. Therefore, people at risk should take medicines.”

The State Health Minister Veena George, on Friday announced that the state government has launched an awareness campaign to prevent the spread of leptospirosis. According to a report in ANI, “George said, "Now it is raining heavily in Kerala. There are cases of leptospirosis but now we expect the cases of leptospirosis to increase. We are running an awareness campaign to stop it.”

What is Leptospirosis?

This is a zoonotic disease caused by the bacteria Leptospira. One can get the infection through direct contact with urine or reproductive fluids from infected animals, contact with contaminated water or soil or eating or drinking contaminated food or water. The bacteria can get through abrasions or cuts in your skin, or through your eyes, nose or mouth.

The infection happens in two phases; the first phase which is the acute phase, also known as leptospiremic phase and the second phase which is the immune or delayed phase.

When you have the first phase, you might see sudden symptoms of flu. These symptoms start to show within two to 14 days after the infection and can last between three and 10 days. During this phase, the bacteria is present in your bloodstream and is moving to your organs.

When you have the second phase, the bacteria have moved from your blood to your organs and can be mostly concentrated in your kidneys. This eventually causes you to urinate more. Your urine tests will show signs of the bacteria and you’ll also have antibodies of the bacteria in your blood.

Symptoms of Leptospirosis

  • High fever
  • Red eyes
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Rash
  • Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Severe yellowing of your skin or eyes
  • Black, tarry poop (stool)
  • Blood in your pee (hematuria)
  • Decrease in the amount you pee
  • Flat, red spots on your skin that look like a rash.

Preventive Measures for Leptospirosis

  • Take preventative medicine
  • Wear protective clothing and shoes
  • Avoid water sports and swimming in lakes and rivers after floods
  • Drinking only treated water
  • Cover open cuts or wounds with waterproof dressing.

2024-05-27T05:24:48Z dg43tfdfdgfd