Malaria cases detected

C. Jaishankar

30 health inspectors deputed to Rameswaram Island

RAMANATHAPURAM: In an urgent measure to control the outbreak of malaria in Rameswaram Island, which is a malaria-prone area, the Health Department has deputed 30 health inspectors from various parts of the State.

According to available records with the Health department, the number of cases that have tested positive for malaria fever in the last 5 months has risen to new high when compared with the same period last year.

Out of 11,520 reported fever cases from Rameswaram Island, 827 have tested positive for malaria from January to May.

The disturbing factor is that out of the positive cases, 208 patients are infected with ‘plasmodium falciparum,’ a dangerous parasite causing complications to the infected people.

During the same period, there were just 512 cases that tested positive for malaria out of 8892 with fever.

Out of them (512), 24 persons were identified with plasmodium falciparum.

Terming the situation as relatively ‘alarming,’ the Health department officials have started an Early Detection and Preventive Treatment (ED and PT) drive to bring down the rate of malaria cases in the island.

V. Uma Maheswari, Deputy Director, Health Services, told The Hindu that artificial stagnation of water around coconut trees and pits, which were the main breeding centres for mosquitoes, was the main reason for the spread of malaria.

Besides, fishermen, who often ventured into sea for fishing, were not taking radical treatment.

Medical Officers and other staff of all primary health centres and 13 heath sub-centres in the island have been directed to take special care to contain malaria.

Street-to-street thermo fogging has been undertaken to reduce mosquito breeding.

Indoor residual spraying has also been initiated.

M. Kathiresan, District Entomologist, said that field staff were conducting door-to-door detection and treatment programme.

People with fever would be subjected to a blood test. If they were found to be positive to malaria, treatment would begin on the spot.

The special drive would cover Mandapam and Keelakarai, besides Rameswaram, he said.

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