A total of 2198 patients who had been suffering from Leptospirosis (Rat Fever) were recorded during this year by last Monday (June 01) along with 10 deaths. The highest number of patients, 558 have been reported from the district of Ratnapura, the Epidemiology Unit sources said.
According to the sources, an increased number of patients were observed during last month (May), February and January. The highest number of patients, 741 had been recorded in the last month, May. The number of patients reported from the Kalutara district is 232. Galle district has recorded 201. In last year (2019) a total of 6021 rat fever patients were reported from all parts of the country. The highest number 1245 reported from Ratnapura district. The highest number 1036 reported in November.
Vulnerable people such as farmers, persons who clean drains, persons who work in mines, marsh lands, canals and persons who swim or play in contaminated water should contact the nearest PHI or MOH office and obtain Doxycycline tablets free of charge and they should take two tablets before they start their work. They should drink plenty of water while working. The tablets give around 90 percent protection for a period of one week. Then they should take two tablets again until they finish their work. All cuts and wounds should be covered with waterproof plasters, the sources said.
The virus enters the body through cuts and wounds, mouth, nose and eyes. The main symptoms of rat fever are abrupt onset of high fever, mild flu, chills, conjunctival suffusion, muscle tenderness (notable in calf and lumber areas), intense headache, jaundice area and decrease of passing urine. It is very important to seek medical treatment as early as possible from a Government hospital. The disease can be completely cured if medical treatment is given on time but it is difficult to save the life of a patient who seeks medical treatment when the disease comes to later stages where renal failure, heart failure and other symptoms appear, the sources added.