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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 20 June 2024 10.27 AM IST

Epidemic outbreak in Kerala: 10 deaths in two weeks, rare diseases surge

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Around 100,000 people have been affected by epidemics in two weeks, resulting in 10 deaths. Over the past five months, 91 deaths have been reported in Kerala, attributed to rare diseases and epidemics. Diseases such as amoebic meningoencephalitis and West Nile fever have been observed, although proper studies on these rare diseases are lacking.

The spread of infectious diseases has been exacerbated by summer rains following extreme heat and disruptions in garbage collection. Concerns are rising about the potential increase in disease transmission with the onset of the monsoon season. In Malappuram, a five-year-old girl is critically ill with brain fever, with efforts underway to obtain medicine from Germany. Cases of West Nile fever have been reported in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts affecting nine individuals within a week.

The incidence of dengue fever, yellow fever, rat fever, H1N1, chickenpox, hepatitis, malaria, monkey fever and waterborne diseases is also on the rise. A high-level meeting was convened under the leadership of Minister Veena George to address disease prevention, with actions initiated.

Brain fever

Brain fever is caused by the Naegleria fowleri amoeba, also known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), predominantly occurs in stagnant water. It enters the brain through the nasal passages during activities such as swimming attacking the brain, membranes and nervous system leading to cell destruction. There is no direct cure but treatment involves a combination of drugs with a mortality rate exceeding 97%.

West Nile

It is transmitted by Culex mosquitoes, was first identified in Uganda in 1937 and was first reported in Kerala in 2011 in Alappuzha. In 2019, a six-year-old boy from Kozhikode died from the disease.

Reasons for increased disease spread

1. Increased population density

2. Lifestyle change

3. Climate change

4. Different topography

Those infected within two weeks

Contagious fever...................................78,718

Mumps...................................................1,567

Chickenpox...................................971

Dengue fever...................................328

Jaundice...................................294

Malaria...................................................20

Rat fever...................................................70

H-1 N-1...................................37

Shigella................................................... .4

West Nile...................................9

(Estimation in Government hospitals)

5 months, 91 deaths

Contagious fever........................3

Malaria...................................3

Dengue Fever........................16

Rat fever............................39

Hepatitis A...................13

Hepatitis B...................3

Chickenpox...................10

H-1N-1...................4

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TAGS: DISEASES, EPIDEMIC, KERALA, WESTNILE, BRAIN, FEVER
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