Staff Reporter

Thrissur: High prevalence rate of filariasis among migrant labourers poses a challenge to health officials in the district. The disease, which was on the verge of eradication in the district with just one per cent prevalence rate, is showing signs of a comeback.

District Medical Officer Rajan Warrier said that medical tests conducted recently in the city revealed that blood samples of 15 out of 135 migrant labourers had microfilaria, the causative organism of filariasis.

“They may act as reservoirs of many infectious diseases such as malaria and filariasis,” he said. Over one lakh migrant labourers of the district, mostly working in construction, jewellery and hotel sectors, are living in abysmal living conditions without any basic facilities.

Unhygienic living conditions make them susceptible to diseases. “Earlier, filariasis was reported mostly from the coastal belt of the district. Of late, the disease is found in the Corporation limits, too. The prevalence rate, however, has decreased now to almost one per cent in indigenous communities,” Dr. Warrier said.