The outbreak of leptospirosis (rat fever) in Kerala following last month’s flood is a matter of grave concern. Ten people were confirmed to have died from the bacterial disease that spreads through water or soil contaminated by infected animals and with 302 suspected cases reported, the signs are ominous. The health department has done well to issue a treatment protocol and direct workers and volunteers involved in post-flood relief work to follow its directions. With the state in dire straits, the authorities must also ensure that there is adequate stock of medicines and workers must exercise caution and arm themselves with masks, gloves and boots to keep the dreaded disease at bay.
N J Ravi Chander Bengaluru
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