- Flood-hit Kerala has experienced 12 deaths because of leptospirosis
- Leptospirosis causes high fever and muscle pain
- It has symptoms similar to flu
Flood-hit Kerala is now facing the aftermath of the natural disaster. It is currently hit with leptospirosis or rat fever, which is a bacterial infection which spreads through the urine of infected animals. Ever since August 1, 12 people have reportedly died because of leptospirosis in the flood-hit state. The disease can affect both humans and animals. It infects humans when they come in direct contact with the urine of infected animals - especially dogs, rodents and farm animals - or urine-contaminated environment. Common symptoms of leptospirosis include headache, high fever, redness of the eye, diarrhoea, muscle pain and vomiting to name a few. While the disease maybe unpleasant, it is not entirely life-threatening. Symptoms of leptospirosis are similar to symptoms of flu and even meningitis.
A person is likely to catch leptospirosis when around soil or water in which an infected animal has peed. The germ can invade in your body through skin breaks like open wounds, dry areas or scratches. The infection can also be caught through mouth, genitals or nose.
Diagnosis of leptospirosis
A simple blood test can help in diagnosis of leptospirosis. For more accuracy, a DNA test might be recommended.
Treatment of leptospirosis
Antibiotics are usually taken for treatment of leptospirosis. Ibuprofen for fever might also be suggested. Course of medicines usually lasts for a week. However, in case the infection is more severe, it may cause lung problems, kidney problems and meningitis.
Prevention of leptospirosis
1. Leptospirosis can be prevented by avoiding contact with contaminated water.
2. Keep away from wild rats specifically. Rats and other rodents are the main carriers of leptospirosis. This is the reason why the disease is also known as rat fever.
3. Regularly use disinfectants and wash your hands regularly to prevent catching the infection.
Way pray for speedy recovery for Kerala, which experienced the worst floods in nearly a century!