There was a considerable increase in the number of malaria cases in the district in June (34), compared to May (12). Though much of this can be attributed to the arrival of monsoon, the figure is still higher than that of the corresponding period in 2013.

However, District Malaria Officer K.Vimal Raj said that the situation was not alarming and that only three of the 34 cases originated within the State. “Most of the cases were detected in people who had returned from other States. The cases were identified in blood samples collected on site and in hospitals by a surveillance team of the Health Department. This shows the efficiency of our surveillance, which is very important in tackling vector- borne diseases such as malaria,” he said.

Dr. Vimal Raj said that supervisors at construction sites and suburban industries had been given strict directions to approach the General hospital on the Kozhikode beach as soon as they noticed any sort of fever. “Besides, special camps were being conducted to screen migrant labourers across the district. Thus we could check a major outbreak,” he added.

200 cases a year

However, the migrant labourers were a major risk group in controlling vector-borne diseases, he said, and added that there should be proper and timely screening for them. Kerala recorded only around 200 malaria cases a year whereas States such as Odisha had lakhs of cases.

The other rain-related diseases reported in the district included dengue fever, rat fever, and jaundice. The district had recorded 18 confirmed and 43 unconfirmed dengue cases in May while the figure was 50 and 49, respectively, in June.

While two cases of leptospirosis were confirmed in May, it was three in June and the number of unconfirmed cases was seven in both months. Thirty-one cases of jaundice had been reported in June while there were none in May.

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