Two persons, identified as Manoj (18) of Sullia Taluk and Padmanabhan (28) from Kasaragod district of Kerala, died of leptospirosis, or rat fever, at Kasturba Medical College Hospital at here.

Padmanbhan died on Sunday and Manoj on Monday, according to district health officials.

Department clueless

The Health Department was clueless about the deaths until some television channels broke the news. Officials rushed to the hospital and gathered the details only after they started getting calls from the media.

Protocol

B.V. Rajesh, District Surveillance Officer in charge of keeping track of communicable diseases such as rat fever, told The Hindu that the Health Department was not informed by the hospital authorities about the two deaths.

“According to protocol, they should inform us the moment somebody tests positive for diseases such as rat fever,” he said.

However, the Public Relations Officer of KMC, Deepak Prabhu, said that the District Health Officer of Kasaragod was informed on June 27 about Padmanabhan and the Dakshina Kannada District Health Officer was informed about Manoj on Saturday by the hospital.

Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria that spread to humans who come into contact with the faeces of animals, particularly rodents (hence, the name rat fever). Dr. Rajesh said that most people are infected when they drink or bathe in contaminated water.

Keywords: rat fever

More In: Mangaluru