Rat fever cases decline in Udupi/DK, but caution necessary

02:25 PM Sep 04, 2023 | Team Udayavani |

Mangaluru / Udupi: Cases of leptospirosis, commonly known as rat fever, see an uptick as the rainy season progresses. Last year, the high incidence of rat fever cases had caused concerns in the coastal districts. This year, there has been a significant drop in the number of rat fever cases. However, health officials say that caution is still necessary.


As per the health department data, 127 cases and 2 deaths due to rat fever have been recorded in Dakshina Kannada since January this year. As many as 49 in Udupi in the same period but no deaths were reported.

Meanwhile, the health department has upped the ante by regularly holding fever surveys to detect cases early. ASHA workers, health safety officials, and MPW workers in the corporation limits are going door-to-door, asking people to take precautions.

Dr Navinchandra Kulal and Dr Prashant Bhat, Health Department Officials D.K. and Udupi respectively said that the department is specially monitoring the situation to prevent cases of rat fever. Continuous public awareness, door-to-door visits, and fever surveys are being conducted. If there is any symptom of fever, they are being checked, they said.

What is leptospirosis?


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), leptospirosis is a disease caused by leptospira bacteria, which is transmitted by rodents.  The infection spreads to humans through direct contact with or water and soil contaminated by the urine of infected rodents. It does not spread from human-to-human contact.

Common symptoms of rat fever include a high fever of up to 104 degrees F, headache and chills, severe muscle pain, skin rashes, diarrhea, and jaundice.

Without proper medical treatment, rat fever can cause multi-organ damage including damage to the kidneys, lungs, and liver. It can also lead to fatalities.

Precautions against rat fever: 

It is generally advised not to allow children to play in dirty water. Wearing protective footwear when going out of the house, keeping the surroundings clean, cleaning garbage, preventing water stagnation, and washing with soap regularly are other ways to prevent infection.

Dengue outbreak: 

Meanwhile, there has been a sudden uptick in the number of dengue infections in the twin districts. Dengue cases in Udupi have risen from 85 in July to 140 by the end of August. In Dakshina Kannada, the tally has risen to 158 cases at the end of August, up from 134 that were recorded by the end of July.


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