Rat fever spreads | Daily News


Rat fever spreads

Rat fever has infected 3,982 persons and killed 10 patients this year up to July. The highest number of patients (1,043) has been reported from the Ratnapura District, Epidemiology Unit sources said.

The highest number of patients (1,128) had been recorded in May. The number of patients from the Kalutara District is 457. The Kegalle District has recorded 299 and the Galle District 246.

Last year recorded 6,021 rat fever patients from all parts of the country. The highest number (1,245) was reported from the Ratnapura District. The highest number (1,036) was reported in November, the sources said.

Farmers, drain cleaners, miners, those who work on marsh lands, canals and persons who swim or play in contaminated water should should obtain doxycycline for free from PHIs and MOHs and take two tablets before they start their work. A plenty of water must be taken while working. The tablets provide 90 per cent protection for one week. Then two tablets must be taken again until their work is over. Cuts and wounds should be covered with waterproof plasters, the sources said.

The virus enters the body through cuts and wounds, mouth, nose and eyes. The main symptoms of rat fever are abrupt high fever, mild flu, chills, conjunctival suffusion, muscle tenderness (notable in calf and lumber areas), intense headache, jaundice and decrease of passing urine. Medical treatment should be sought as early as possible from a state hospital.

The disease can be completely cured if medical treatment is taken on time, but if patient seeks medical treatment when the disease comes to later stages with renal failure, heart failure and other symptoms it may be fatal, the sources added.

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