Alert against leptospirosis in Kerala

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With seven leptospirosis deaths being reported from various parts of the state over the past one week, the health department has sounded an alert especially in flood ravaged areas.

Five persons died of fever in Kozhikode district on Friday of which two were confirmed cases of leptospirosis. Large number of suspected cases of leptospirosis is being reported in hospitals in Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Malapuram andKannur districts.


In Kozhikode of the 31 persons who came with suspected symptoms 12 were confirmed leptospirosis cases. Experts say the deaths are mainly taking place due to pulmonary haemorrhage and acute respiratory distress syndrome. While severe complications like renal failure and liver failure may come up after a week, the patients tend to develop pulmonary complications within couple of days.

The health officials have appealed to the people especially those in the flood affected areas, people cleaning houses or those coming from outside to take part in the cleanliness campaign to take extra precaution. Such people should have two 100 mg doxycycline tablets after food, twice a week for six weeks.

Health department had sounded alert following cases of leptospirisis in Kozhikode, Malapuram, Thrissur, Kannur and Palakkad. The health workers and public at large need to be extra vigilant in view of the rising number of cases. People living or working in vulnerable areas should strictly follow the instructions given by the health department and take the medicine compulsorily.

Those engaged in cleaning operations should use gloves, gumboots and mask while cleaning up the flood affected areas. In the event of suspected symptoms, the health workers in the area should be alerted immediately, patient should be taken to the nearest hospital. No self medication.

Leptospirosis treatment facilities have been put in place in taluk level and above hospitals. Availability of doxycycline tablets and pencilin injections have been ensured at these medical centres.

The health workers have been directed to closely monitor people coming with suspected symptoms and collect data of the patient and provide mandatory treatment.

All hospitals including government, private hospital’s, clinics and those doctors practising independently have been directed to provide details of the patients coming with communicable diseases to the District Surveillance Officer on a daily basis.