Udupi/Mangaluru: There has been a marked rise in rat fever cases in the coastal districts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada.
The infectious disease has been confirmed in 112 persons in Udupi and 305 in Dakshina Kannada, the data from the health department shows.
A total of 163 samples were collected in Udupi in the month of August alone. Of which, currently, 42 cases are active.
Meanwhile, in the neighboring Dakshina Kannada, 305 of rat fever have been found this year, including 192 in Mangaluru, 37 in Bantwal, 51 in Belthangady, 19 in Puttur, and 6 in Sullia.
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About rat fever
Rat fever is a bacterial infection that spreads by skin contact with rat droppings, urine, feces, or any other rat body fluids. Cats and dogs that catch mice can also get infected.
Health professionals suggest to clean the place wherever mouse droppings are found with any disinfectant liquid as a precaution to minimize the spread of the disease.
Severe fever occurs anywhere between 2 to 25 days after the pathogen enters the body. Rat fever also causes symptoms such as body pain, headache, vomiting, and stomach ache.
Doctors said that farmers, fishermen, sewage workers, and butchers are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. Those with cracked heels have a higher risk of contracting the disease. If detected and treated in time, the patients make full recovery, they added.
Officials of the Udupi and Dakshina Kannada disease surveillance wing, Dr Nagaratna and Dr Jagdish said that the health department has taken measures to control and mitigate the disease. All taluk and primary health centers have kept stock medicines required for treating rat fever.
They advised the public to be cautious. Also, people should not neglect any symptoms of fever and seek immediate treatment at the nearest primary health center, they added.