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Kerala ropes in school children as Covid, dengue and leptospirosis cases rise

- June 8, 2022

Dileep V. Kumar/Thiruvananthapuram, June 8(BPNS)

For the state which is dealing with a fresh wave of Covid-19 infections, the rise in dengue and leptospirosis cases has come as a double whammy. To handle the same, the state health department is planning to bring in school children to spread awareness against the diseases. For that, it will join hands with the education department. Meanwhile, state health minister Veena George said that being cautious against the said will prevent the healthcare facilities from being overwhelmed.

As per the plan, school children will be made to take a pledge against preventing the diseases at their respective schools. After that they are expected to put in practice the messages at their respective homes. 

“The active Covid case tally has crossed the 10,000 mark. Coupled with it is the reporting of dengue and leptospirosis cases. Sometimes the symptoms of the diseases might overlap and might turn fatal in the absence of early diagnosis and treatment,” said an officer of the health department.

According to him, respective district units were asked to step up surveillance and monitor influenza-like illness (ILI) cases.

At the same time, Veena said that there is nothing to be concerned about in the spiraling Covid numbers as it’s the Omicron variant that is dominant. She also added that those who seek hospital care are low.

“The best way to deal with Covid is to prevent it. Facemask wearing has been made mandatory. Districts were asked to be on alert. Fever cases are increasing. To determine what kind of fever, if it’s out of Covid or dengue or leptospirosis, is essential,” said Veena.

The minister said this after chairing a high-level meeting that assessed Covid and other diseases being reported in the state.

The state on the other day had breached the 2000 mark in reporting of daily Covid case tally as Tuesday had 2,271 cases. It’s after a gap of around two months that the daily case tally reached the 2,000 mark. It was on March 4 that more than 2000 cases (2190) were last reported.

In the case of dengue fever, as of June 7, 127 confirmed cases were reported this month alone. With 14 such cases reported on Tuesday itself. One death was also reported in the month.

Meanwhile, 32 confirmed leptospirosis cases and one death were reported on Tuesday.  The cumulative tally for the month is 72 confirmed cases and two deaths.

“If we consider the suspected cases and deaths the state will go up. On Tuesday alone the state had 71 suspected dengue fever cases and 14 leptospirosis cases and four deaths. The total suspected cases reported in the month are 388 dengue fever cases and 86 leptospirosis cases. 11 suspected deaths due to leptospirosis were also there in the month,” said an officer.

While dengue fever is caused by a virus as a certain type of mosquito (Aedes) passes the virus to people through its bites, leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria in which infected animals spread the bacteria through their urine. Humans get infected upon touching fresh water, soil, or other objects contaminated with infected animal urine.

The most common way one can get infected with leptospirosis is urine or contaminated water getting in one’s eyes, nose, mouth, or broken skin (such as a cut or scratch). One can also get infected by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.