Against the backdrop of monsoon onset, the Health Department has come out with a set of guidelines for prevention of epidemics and other health issues.
As per the available statistics, 37 cases of dengue fever were reported at the Ernakulam General Hospital so far. Last year, during this period, only eight dengue cases were reported at the hospital. This year the number is likely to go up in the coming days. On Thursday, a huge crowd gathered in front of the OP section of the Ernakulam General Hospital, a majority of whom were affected with viral fever.
Water-borne diseases such as viral fever, hepatitis A, dengue and chikungunya are likely to spread in the coming days and the health authorities have already alerted people to take necessary preventive measures. “The dengue-causing mosquitoes not only breed in stagnant water but also lays eggs in small sources like bottle caps, tyres and coconut shells. The best way to prevent the outbreak of dengue is to keep houses and premises clean and hygienic. Personal hygiene is equally important. Regular fogging in surroundings is an effective measure to destroy the larvae,” said District Malaria Officer M Sumayya.
The medical experts also advised people to drink only boiled water. “People residing in areas vulnerable to water-logging need to take special precautions to prevent water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, jaundice and typhoid,” they said.
The health officials have also given clear instructions to the public not to resort to self-treatment for fever during the monsoon, and to consult physicians before consuming medicines. Hepatitis A (commonly called jaundice) and leptospirosis are the other major diseases reported at the General Hospital. Ranging from calf muscle pain to multi-organ failure, leptospirosis can be fatal if proper care and consideration are not given from the very beginning. The negligence on the part of people has caused an increase in the cases attended this month - from 9 to 27.
Malaria is another disease that is likely to spread during the monsoon. The authorities have already given instructions to the residents of mosquito-infested areas to take precautions like using mosquito nets, bats and to shut their windows during the night. However, the District Malaria Officer said that the malaria cases reported this year were comparatively lesser.
The Corporation authorities had already asked ward councillors to make sure that ‘Dry Day’ is observed thrice every month in each division. The Corporation Health Department will also take extra measures to focus on areas that were affected with infectious diseases last year.
On Wednesday, 873 people suffering from fever consulted physicians in different hospitals of Ernakulam, 53 patients were reported suffering from diarrhoea and 11 cases of dengue fever were reported. From May 1 to May 29, a total of 68,349 cases of fever were reported. Of them 179 were confirmed cases of dengue and 70 cases of leptospirosis.