As Dakshina Kannada claims its second death this year, reason being leptospirosis i.e. rat fever, the health authorities have questioned the farmers and all those people working with animals, slaughterhouses and sewage workers and also lorry drivers to be extra vigilant.
According to B. V Rajesh, District Surveillance Offier, Malnad region and coastal areas are more at risk of the disease due to its temperature, high rainfall, soil salinity and stagnating water.
A 33-year-old woman, Premalatha from Belthangady faced death due to complications that arose from leptospirosis on Sunday.
Dr. Rajesh, who registered the death of Premalatha as due to leptospirosis, stated that she had gone to the primary health centre in Kaniyoor. he also added that she had loose motions and due to that her legs had got swollen on Friday. Despite all this she was not taken to any hospital on Saturday. after that she was hurried to Adarsh Hospital in Puttur and hurried and from there she was further taken to KMC Hospital here for dialysis.
Dr. Rajesh shared that he is planning to visit the place soon on Wednesday. He would be accompanied by a team including an epidemiologist, microbiologist, senior health inspector and taluk health inspector.
To check if a person has leptospirosis an Elisa test is conducted.
Early detection is very important in the case of leptospirosis. If left unchecked and untreated for three to four days, jaundice can be caught in followed by acute renal failure and pulmonary haemorrhage, which can be fatal, as stated by Dr. Rajesh.
Leptospirosis bacteria is carried by rodents and it is spread when they urinate contaminating soil and water. When humans intake the contaminated water or bathe in that water from lakes etc. they are at a risk of getting the disease.
Total elimination of rodents, wearing footwear mostly and use of gloves can be some of the measures that can be taken to protect oneself from this disease. He clarrified that the disease does not spread from person to person, it is not contagious in nature.