Floods continue to reign havoc in the districts of Kerala. Already a victim of diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, Kerala now faces an epidemic of diseases including hepatitis, cholera, typhoid and leptospirosis.
Floods continue to reign havoc in the districts of Kerala. More than 370 people have died and 7 lakh people have lost their homes due to the massive floods. Overflowing water and torrential rain may lead to infectious diseases and put people and animals alike, at risk of developing severe water-borne or vector-borne diseases. Already a victim of diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, Kerala now faces an epidemic of diseases including hepatitis, cholera, typhoid and leptospirosis.
Although people stuck in the horrendous situation in Kerala cannot do much about their situation right now, but all of us should be aware of the calamities surrounding us. Leptospirosis is on a rise in the city and spreading to other states as well. Here is all you need to know about leptospirosis.
What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection spread through the urine of animals including dogs, rodents, and farm animals. Human beings get infected by the disease when they come in direct contact with the urine of the animal. As soon as the bacteria enter the body, the disease spreads quickly within 24 hours; some patients might even develop liver or kidney failure, respiratory failure and even death.
Symptoms of Leptospirosis
Usually, symptoms of leptospirosis do not appear quickly, and your body starts showing signs of the disease after two weeks. High fever is one of the initial symptoms of the condition, some other symptoms include:
- Jaundice (yellow discolouration of the skin)
- Myalgia (muscle pain)
- Skin Rash
- Muscle Rash
- Joint pain
- Red eyes
As the disease progresses, the symptoms may become more severe which include:
- Swollen nerves of the eyes
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Kidney failure
- Septic Shock
Diagnosis of Leptospirosis
Your doctor will take your blood sample and examine your blood for antibodies. It is difficult to diagnose the disease based on the initial symptoms, so it is essential to get proper medical tests done.
Prevention of Leptospirosis
- Avoid direct contact with stagnated water and avoid inhaling the contaminated water at all costs
- Wash your hands properly, especially before eating
- People living in areas with a high risk of leptospirosis should avoid swimming in flood water and drink water from sealed cans
- If you have an injury, cover or clean the wounds before they get infected
- Avoid eating food that might be infected with flood water
- Avoid eating noon-vegetarian foods such as meat, fish etc. in flood-affected areas
- Boil water before consuming
- Consult a doctor for professional advice on antibiotics and other precautionary measures
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