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Thursday, September 22, 2011

India : Leptospirosis cases on rise in Chennai

Via Deccan Chronicle :

" Its diverse symptoms, ranging from mild flu to jaundice to spleen enlargement and kidney failure baffle doctors around this time every year — leptospirosis or ‘rat fever’ is spreading across the city suburbs with a vengeance.

City doctors are more worried about leptospirosis than mosquito-borne diseases because of its highly contagious nature; human-to-human infection has become a major problem, they say. The North Chennai areas of Mint, Pattravakkam, Vyasarpadi and Tondiarpet remain the most vulnerable due to poor garbage disposal and water logging that drives the rats out of the sewers and into homes and grocery stores. While hospitals like St Anthony’s in Tondiarpet, where a separate ‘lepto ward’ is operated throughout the year, receive five to eight cases of lepto in a day, the more severe infections are referred to the Rajiv Gandhi government general hospital.

“We receive at least five cases of leptospirosis per day; all of them have to be admitted immediately. These patients are referred to us with kidney failure or septicaemia and hemorrhagic shock. We have to monitor them closely, and give them four strong penicillin injections each day, for a week,” says Dr Gokul who admits patients to the general medicine ward. Apart from the advanced cases, the fever OP picks up at least 2 to 3 patients a day."

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