According to a source, residents of Theni, Kanniyakumari and Tirunelveli were alerted about the possible cause and symptoms of the fever. Awareness and medical screening camps were organised at three locations, including Munthal village in Bodinaickanur block, Cumbum Mettu and in Kumuli.
Though not many cases of leptospirosis were reported from Kerala’s Idukki, which shares border with Theni, preventive measures were being adopted with active participation of healthcare professionals, said Theni Collector M Pallavi Baldev.
The Collector further added that all the PHCs, government and private hospitals were being monitored constantly for such fever cases. However, so far not a single case has been reported. Pamphlets with ‘dos and donts’ to counter the fever were being distributed to people and passengers travelling by buses. People, especially pedestrians, have been advised to wear footwear as stagnant water on road can cause bacterial infection and disease. “As several workers from parts of Theni travel to the neighbouring districts of Kerala, they are being screened at the camps and are sensitised to the symptoms and effects of leptospirosis. Teams comprising village health nurses, health inspectors, block health supervisors and block medical supervisors have been put on alert,” she said.
When DT Next contacted Kanniyakumari Collector Prashant M Wadnere, he said that adequate precautionary measures have been initiated throughout the district. “Necessary care is being taken in parts of Kaliyakkavilai and three more routes leading to Kerala,” he added.
The Deputy Director of Health Service, Kanniyakumari M Madhusoothanan said, “Symptoms of this disease, include high fever and muscle pain. If diagnosed earlier, it can be cured. Otherwise, the fever can result in serious complications like kidney failure. Around 450 staff, including 180 village health nurses, 106 health inspectors and medical officers and workers in 1,400 anganwadi centres are conducting field-level surveillance and in hospitals. Some places in Melpuram, Munchirai and Thiruvattar remain water logged after the incessant rains last month and disinfectants are being used in such areas. Local body representatives have been advised to ensure adequate chlorination of drinking water.”
As per the directive of Tirunelveli Collector Shilpa Prabhakar Satish, medical and veterinary teams have been sent to Shencottah check-post to screen people with fever cases and cattle with illness.