The city might not have forgotten the tragic incident happened barely a year ago resulting in the death of a boy who contracted leptospirosis (rat fever) and also infected 29 other children who were swimming in the Karamana river.
As per Health Department alerts, this year too, chances are for leptospirosis to top the list of diseases that could grip the city during monsoon and then comes dengue fever. One of the major cause of rat fever outbreaks could be through people who get in contact with rainwater mixed with rat urine and the most vulnerable are people engaged in garbage removal activity.
The City Corporation, which has charted waste removal as a major agenda in its pre-monsoon cleaning drive, is still following the dumping and burial way. “It is in a decentralised way that we manage waste during the drive. Usually what we follow is to dump waste in vacant plots in each place, sometimes on the Corporation owned land and burn when it becomes dry or else take huge pits and bury,” said a senior health official of the city corporation.
Taking a cue from the heavy summer showers the city has been receiving, it is understood that mixing of these materials with rainwater can happen anytime and the sanitation workers engaged in the cleaning drive are always highly prone to get affected by the disease. “A small crack on the foot can get people rat fever when they come in contact with the rat urine-mixed water. Sanitation workers removing waste without protective gloves are at higher risk, compared to others. We have now decided to provide the preventive medicine Doxy to the sanitation workers, two tablets in a week and continue it for eight weeks,” said Dr K M Sirabudeen, District Medical Officer. The distribution will be through institutions including primary and community health centres.