Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA: One person died of leptospirosis and three others tested positive for the disease in Pezhumpara ward of Vadasserikkara grama panchayat in Pathanamthitta district, according to the Health Department.

Hakkim, 22, of Pezhumpara Vapparampil house, died on Monday. A team of health workers from the nearest Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Vadasserikkara visited Pezhumpara the next day and had collected blood samples from 11 persons who were suffering from high fever in the locality for examination.

District Medical Officer N. Damodaran, said that three of the 11 persons whose blood samples were subjected to examination were tested positive. All the three were admitted to the Pathanamthitta General Hospital and their condition was out of danger, the DMO said.

Dr. Damodaran said the Health Department had also conducted an awareness programme on leptospirosis at Pezhumpara on Wednesday.

Vadasserikkara grama panchayat president Abraham Thomas and Pezhumpara ward member T.V. Joseph met Transport Minister Mathew T. Thomas and apprised him of the situation on Saturday.

The Minister visited the three persons who were undergoing treatment at the General Hospital.

According to the panchayat authorities, pineapple cultivation is gaining momentum in the locality and the pineapple farms were found to have been a better breeding place for rats. They suspect that the spread of leptospirosis in Pezhumpara might be from the pineapple farms in the panchayat.

The panchayat president told the Minister that the local PHC did not have a doctor for the past few months. The Minister directed the DMO to take immediate steps to post a doctor at the PHC.

Dr. Damodaran said the department would conduct an awareness camp in Vadsserikkara panchayat on Monday. He said there was no need to panic, as the disease has not reached any epidemic proportion in the locality.

Dr. Damodaran said early detection and treatment could achieve 100 per cent cure rate in the case of leptospirosis.