Rat fever cases climb to 5,107 | Daily News


Rat fever cases climb to 5,107

Around 5,107 patients suffering from leptospirosis (rat fever) have been recorded this year by last Friday, along with over 10 deaths, Health Ministry Epidemiology Unit sources said.The majority of the cases were recorded in the Ratnapaura District, sources said, adding that there are 1,223 cases there. Furthermore, it was stated that the highest monthly surge of cases, 1,296, were reported in May, the Epidemiology Unit said.

The number of patients reported from the Kalutara District is 528. The Galle District has recorded 526 cases, while the Kegalle District recorded 367 patients, they added.

During last year, a total of 6,021 rat fever patients were reported from all parts of the country. The highest number, 1,245, was reported from Ratnapura District, while the highest monthly rise in cases, 1,036, was reported in November, the Epidemiology Unit added.

Vulnerable people such as farmers, persons who clean drains, persons who work in mines, marshlands, canals, as well as those who swim or play in contaminated water, should contact the nearest PHI or MOH office and obtain Doxycycline tablets free-of-charge, the Epidemiology Unit said; “They should take two tablets before starting work, and should also drink plenty of water while working.”

The tablets give around 90% protection for a period of one week. Then they should take two tablets again until they finish their work. All cuts and wounds should be covered with waterproof plasters, sources said. The virus enters the body through wounds, the mouth, nose, and eyes. The main symptoms of rat fever are the abrupt onset of high fever, mild flu, chills, conjunctival suffusion, muscle tenderness (notable in calf and lumber areas), intense headache, jaundice, and decrease of urine.

It is very important to seek medical treatment as early as possible from a government hospital, they added.

The disease can be completely cured if medical treatment is given on time, but it is difficult to save the life of a patient who seeks medical treatment during the latter stages, where renal failure, heart failure, and other symptoms appear, the Epidemiology Unit stated.

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