958 new cases reported on Monday
PATHANAMTHITTA: Viral fever has taken a heavy toll on the people of Pathanamthitta district. Fever patients, wearily waiting at the government healthcare centres in the district, complain of being incapacitated by severe body pain, high temperature and chest infection. The working class is the worst affected.
The highly literate district has been left wanting in public hygiene and sanitation. The apathy of the civil administration has exposed the common man to alarming health risks.
When chikungunya struck Pathanamthitta two years ago, health authorities had promised to initiate preventive steps against the outbreak of such vector-borne diseases.
“The promise is yet to be fulfilled,” said Thomas P. Thomas, environmentalist. “It seems the official machinery is waiting for a health calamity to happen, to initiate action,” he added.
Dumping of waste by local bodies in the thickly populated areas of Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta, Pandalam and Kozhencherry is a testimony to the criminal negligence of the government towards public health, he alleged. With garbage dumping, public places and canals have become a safe breeding ground for rodents. Rivers too are contaminated by waste from slaughterhouses and hotels.
13 dengue cases
District Medical Officer A.R. Ayshabai told The Hindu that as 13 dengue fever cases had been confirmed in the district, seven of them from Pramadom panchayat. However, official sources said the total number of suspected dengue fever cases could be around 50 in the district. She said fogging and spraying of insecticide and larvicide had been done in the worst affected areas. According to the DMO, 958 new fever cases were reported from various government healthcare centres in the district on Monday.
The DMO said 30 cases of leptospirosis (both confirmed and suspected) had been reported from the district in the past three months. Four persons died of leptospirosis since April, she added. She said most of the leptospirosis cases were reported from Vallana and Mallapuzhasserry areas.