Fever cases in Kerala see 65 per cent spike, cross one lakh-mark in June

Daily hospital admissions saw 9% rise, from 104 on June 1 to 198 on June 15, while 22 deaths have been reported so far this month.
Representative image
Representative image

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : More than 1 lakh fever cases have been reported across the state this month alone, with outpatient visits seeing a 65% rise till June 15. In total, the state has reported over 10 lakh fever cases so far this year.

From 5,533 on June 1, daily OP visits by people suffering from fever rose to 9,102 on June 15, taking the total number of cases reported till mid-June to 1,06,176. Daily hospital admissions saw 9% rise, from 104 on June 1 to 198 on June 15, while 22 deaths have been reported so far this month.

Cold, cough, viral fever, influenza-H1N1, dengue, leptospirosis, and diarrhoeal diseases were the common ailments for which treatment was sought.

Representative image
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Health experts attributed the spike in viral fever to reopening of schools and sporadic rainfall. They also expressed worries over a further spike when monsoon strengthens. The concerns come at a time when Local Self-Government Minister M B Rajesh acknowledged the shortcomings in pre-monsoon cleaning during the summer due to the enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct.

The bird flu outbreak in Alappuzha has also caused worries. Dr Purushothaman Kuzhikkathukandiyil of MES Medical College stressed the need for heightened surveillance following the outbreak.

“Though transmission of infection from birds to humans is rare, we need to see whether or not there is any mutation. Influenza is the most prevalent viral fever reported during monsoon. However, there could be other variants causing leptospirosis, dengue, malaria, scrub typhus, Adenovirus infection and the like,” he said.

Experts said the rainy season, especially when there is intermittent rain, creates an ideal condition for spurt in fever cases. “Reopening of schools has aided in the swift spread of viral infections. Dengue cases have been on the rise. Preparing for it is the only way to control it,” said Dr Althaf A, a public health expert and professor at Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College. He also said the rise in hepatitis A cases during summer months will cause increased incidence during monsoon when chances of water body contamination rise.

Dr T N Suresh, state president of the Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA), said that the situation isn’t critical yet to warrant additional fever clinics, but the situation is being closely monitored.

The health department has advised parents against sending children who are sick to school to prevent further spread of infections. The standard guideline is to seek medical help if fever lasts more than three days or when experienced with symptoms such as shortness of breath with fever, excessive palpitations, chest pain, slurred speech, fainting, blood in sputum, excessive fatigue and the like.

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