The waterborne communicable disease Hepatitis A that prevailed during the monsoons almost like an epidemic had created most of the problems for the district Health department during the year.
Compared to last year when only 36 cases of hepatitis A were reported, this year (till December 8) the number of confirmed cases were 237, with another 726 cases reported as suspected, making it about a thousand cases of jaundice. There were also five deaths, which the Health authorities categorise as death due to complications of other diseases, as hepatitis A is usually not found to be the cause of death.
The numbers of jaundice cases did not stop with Hepatitis A. Three other types Hepatitis B, C and E were also reported this year. In fact, 24 cases of confirmed and 32 suspected hepatitis B were found in the district; two deaths were also reported. An expert panel had also studied the disease, which is transmitted through blood transfusion and unprotected sexual contact.
Besides, there were also two cases of Hepatitis C, which takes the same route of transmission as hepatitis B and one case of hepatitis E (similar to hepatitis A).
The numbers of leptospirosis cases last year were 107 and four deaths, while this year it was 209 confirmed cases, 105 suspected cases and 12 deaths. Spread of this disease is through the rat vector, but it is the water mixed with rat urine that helps spread the disease. People working in pineapple fields, those rearing cattle and other animals are at high risk here.
Reining in the disease took some time as the rains continued for a long time. The people's personal hygiene, lack of cleanliness, low quality of water used in households and street foods in certain areas, the accumulating solid waste on the streets and lack of precaution by the people working in risk areas became some of the most important factors that spread jaundice and leptospirosis.
Another water-borne disease that was reported high was typhoid, with 143 cases this year compared to 77 in 2010. In spite of a surge in these water borne diseases, common water-borne diseases which are categorised as diarrhoeal diseases were comparatively less this year at 19,066 cases against 25,448 cases last year.
Among the mosquito-borne diseases, dengue fever had affected 129 people in confirmed cases while another 96 were suspected of the disease. Four deaths were reported this year. In 2010, two deaths were reported out of the 114 confirmed cases.
Cases of malaria reported in the district are all imported, according to the Health authorities. This year, there were 161 cases and one death while last year there were 167 cases and two deaths. Chikungunya cases were 13 this year compared to four last year.
There were only two cases of H1N1 reported this year compared to 223 cases last year.