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Rat fever: Minister convenes meeting

Staff Reporter
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16 suspected cases reported in State

Health Minister Adoor Prakash is rushing to Kozhikode to assess the situation.
Health Minister Adoor Prakash is rushing to Kozhikode to assess the situation.

Health Minister Adoor Prakash has convened an emergency meeting of senior health officials in Kozhikode on Thursday to discuss the spate of leptospirosis (rat fever) cases being reported in the northern districts of Kerala and the measures to be taken.

The Minister, who was here as part of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's delegation to meet Union Ministers to take up pending issues of Kerala, cut short the visit and rushed to the State.

Earlier, he told journalists that all senior health officers besides medical experts had been invited for the meeting. He clamed that there was sufficient stocks of medicines in government hospitals and the public could make use of them. The government had sanctioned Rs.2 lakh for creating awareness among the public against such diseases. The Minister would hold a review meeting in Ernakulam on Friday on the spread of hepatitis B in the district and in neighbouring Kottayam district. Similar meetings would be held in Kottayam.

Medical teams

Staff Reporter adds from Thiruvananthapuram: The Health Department has mobilised medical teams for epidemiological investigation and intensified field activities in the northern districts where incessant rain has led to a spate of leptospirosis cases and deaths in the past few weeks. Sixteen suspected cases of leptospirosis were reported from Kasaragod, Kozhikode, and Ernakulam on Wednesday. Six deaths have been reported – five from Kozhikode and one from Ernakulam – in the past one week. The sudden increase in the number of leptospirosis cases and deaths has sent panic bells ringing across the State and a team of senior health officials, including Director of Health Service P.K. Jameela, Additional Director of Health Services (PH) N. Sreedhar, and Director of Medical Education V. Geetha, have decided to rush to Kozhikode to supervise field-level activities and to ensure that those affected are given proper treatment.

A team of scientists from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), led by U.V. S. Rana, Joint Director, Division of Zoonosis, will be arriving in Kozhikode on Friday for a detailed investigation, a health official said.

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