CHENNAI: With an increasing incidence of Leptospirosis in the State after heavy rainfall, the State Health Department has established a Regional Leptospirosis Diagnostics Laboratory at the State Public Health Laboratory in Chennai.
Health Minister Ma Subramanian inaugurated the lab on Friday.
The officials from the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine said that in spite of considerable advances in the clinical management of leptospirosis, timely and accurate diagnosis is often difficult, due to its atypical presentation and similarity of signs and symptoms with other infectious diseases.
Leptospirosis is a zoonotic discase, transmitted from animals to humans, caused by a bacteria called Leptospira, a spiral shaped microorganism. Leptospirosis is an acute bacterial infection, that can lead to multiple organ involvement and fatal complications due to renal and pulmonary involvement.
Children usually acquire the disease from infected dogs. Thus, contaminated environments, lack of sanitation, stagnant water and rainfall are a few of the crucial epidemiological risk factors responsible for the occurrence of the disease in humans.
Due to its endemic nature, lack of diagnostic capacity, lack of awareness among the treating clinicians, and paucity of literature available on the burden and varied clinical manifestations of this disease in India.
In order to address the rising burden of the discase the Govt of India, launched the "Programme for Prevention and Control of Leptospirosis" (PPCL) during 12th five-year plan in the endemic states viz. Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka and UT of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been designated as the nodal agency for implementation of programme and State Health Department has signed an MoU with NCDC. As a part of strengthening the diagnostic laboratory of the disease, the Government of India has identified the following 10 laboratories for the diagnosis of Leptospirosis, including the one in the State.
A sum of Rs 9 lakh has been released so far by NCDC, Delhi and laboratory technologist P Arthy Devi, a qualified Microbiologist has been appointed on contract basis and has undergone hands-on training at RMRC, ICMR, Port Blair from 21st - 24th March, 2022. The laboratory will confirmation the cases of leptospirosis, train and strengthen diagnostic capacity at the DPHL Level and map locally Prevalent Serovars in Tamil Nadu.