Fever cases on the rise as officials admit to outbreak.

The dengue threat is back as health officials have admitted fever outbreak in several villages in Madurai district.

As it happened last year, it is the Melur block that is kept under scanner as a large number of fever cases are being reported from villages in that region. While it has been officially confirmed that there is leptospirosis outbreak, the health authorities have also started giving treatment for suspected dengue fever for some patients, keeping the past experience in mind when Melur was the worst-hit.

A health official told The Hindu on Friday that Sunnambur hamlet near Tiruvadavur was the originating point for the present season of fever cases.

Blood samples of patients had been sent for medical investigation.

Already, in this particular village, four out of six persons who had fever for the past one week had tested positive for leptospirosis, a water-borne disease.

The blood samples were sent to the zonal entomological laboratory in Dindigul for analysis. Water contamination was suspected to be the prime reason for the fever outbreak in that area.

“We have initiated fever management on a war-footing since leptospirosis is dangerous if not controlled. Chlorination is being done in all water sources and special medical teams have been rushed to the affected hamlets,” an official said.

According to officials, the fever prevalence in Melur block, a ‘dengue-prone area’ is above the normal level and it warrants urgent control measures.

From rat urine

People have been advised to wear slippers while walking in paddy and sugarcane fields as the leptospirosis infection has its source from the urine of rats.

“Sunnambur has been disinfected and we are closely monitoring the situation. Wherever required, patients would be referred to the Government Hospital at Melur. Jaundice also is on the rise in the fever-hit hamlets since it is an accompanying disease for leptospirosis,” health officials said after visiting a couple of villages on Friday.

A team of senior officials visited Meenakshipuram, Poonchuthi and Keeranur to inspect fever control measures. Panchayat presidents had been asked to ensure chlorination of water tanks. Villagers had been advised to use only borewell water, and drink only boiled water. Of all the fever patients admitted to the Melur GH, only two were children.

T. Swaminathan, Medical Superintendent, Government Rajaji Hospital, said that fever- related admissions were normal as of Friday, but the hospital would take the fever outbreak in Melur block as a sign of alert.

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