Health dept. urges public to avoid self-medication

The Health Department has advised the public against self-medication as it would increase mortality rate among persons affected by leptospirosis.

The warning assumes significance amidst reports of a spike in cases of leptospirosis in the district. Ernakulam has reported around 256 suspected cases of leptospirosis while 109 cases have been confirmed. Four deaths have been confirmed over the past one year while the number of deaths suspected to be due to the disease is 17, according to official estimates.

“People should refrain from self-medication, if they have any symptom associated with leptospirosis. There have been instances when persons affected by the disease had resorted to self-medication. They need to immediately consult a doctor,” said Dr. Vinod Paulose, District Surveillance Officer for non-COVID diseases.


The symptoms include fever, redness in eyes, headache, skin rash and muscle pain. Any delay in seeking treatment would affect the liver and kidney of the patient. Multi-organ failure is reported in severe cases. Dr. Paulose said that people rearing cattle, involved in agriculture work, and cleaning workers need to be careful while at work as the chances of getting infected from urine and droppings of animals carrying the bacteria in stagnant water were high. “They should have the doxycycline tablets distributed by the government,” he said.

Workers in such scenarios should wear boots that would cover their feet from getting exposed to the infection. They should also have gloves as a precautionary measure. Those having wounds in hands or their feet should refrain from work and should return only after it is cured, according to the health authorities.

The Health Department has pointed out that symptoms like fever and throat pain need not be viewed as symptoms of COVID-19 only, as it could be cases related to leptospirosis and dengue fever.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 4:41:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/health-dept-urges-public-to-avoid-self-medication/article36842291.ece

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