Rising Communicable Diseases Grip Kerala as Rains Hit; Government Hospitals Flooded with Patients
With the onset of the rainy season in Kerala, the state is grappling with a surge in communicable diseases. Official data reveals that on Monday alone, a staggering 12,984 individuals sought treatment for fever in government hospitals. In the first 19 days of this month, the number rose to 1,61,346.
Dengue, in particular, has been a cause for concern. The death toll from the disease reached 68 in the past six months, with two fatalities reported in Malappuram on Monday. The district also witnessed the highest number of dengue cases, totaling 1,008 this month. Ernakulam has also observed a worrying increase in dengue cases, prompting the Health Department to issue a cautionary advisory.
The state has also witnessed a rise in rabies cases, with 77 people diagnosed and 27 deaths reported over a three-week period. Additionally, flu-related deaths numbered 41, while rat fever claimed the lives of 68 rats. High incidence rates of rat fever have been observed in Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Kottayam, and Malappuram districts.
Another concerning development is the resurgence of malaria, previously believed to be endemic in the area. On Monday, one malaria case was detected in Malappuram, with two more cases reported in Karukachal and Ramapuram in Kottayam district. A total of 27 people have been infected with malaria this month.
Despite the rapid spread of these diseases, the state government’s response has been criticized for its perceived inaction. The public has been advised to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and take doxycycline before entering contaminated water, but there have been no concerted efforts by local authorities to eradicate rats or implement emergency plans for mosquito control or the removal of rat-infested garbage dumps.
Furthermore, there have been delays in updating the health department’s website with timely data on the number of affected patients and deaths, with the figures typically being published a day late. Minister Veena George has stated that measures are being taken to address the contagious fever, but the effectiveness of these actions remains to be seen.