KOCHI: The health department has intensified monsoon disease prevention drive after the outbreak of infectious diseases including dengue in eastern parts of the district with an area-specific action plan. Chikungunya, leptospirosis, malaria and hepatitis cases were reported from both rural and urban areas, and all government hospitals are on high alert.
There were 156 confirmed cases of dengue this year, mostly from Kothamangalam. The number is going up rapidly, and 26 cases were so far confirmed in June. At least 878 fever cases were reported on Thursday including four confirmed dengue cases from Edakkattuvayal, Varappetty and Ayavana. An unconfirmed leptospirosis case from Tripunithura, 182 diarrhoea cases and two incidents of chickenpox were also reported.
Fever cases are more in eastern parts highly vulnerable to vector-borne diseases with the region's pineapple and rubber farms serving natural breeding grounds for mosquitoes. “Daily and weekly meetings are being organised to assess the situation. A special focus has given to Kothamangalam where dengue outbreak has been confirmed. Apart from the state-level action plan, an area-specific prevention plan has been prepared for disease control,” said Dr N.K. Kuttappan, district medical officer.
The DMO added that hospitals in the affected areas had been asked to extend OP time, if necessary. “We have given instructions to open dedicated fever wards and fever clinics in all government hospitals. Hospitals have sufficient stock of quantity of drugs. Directions have also been given to conduct medical camps in those areas with a high number of fever cases.
“None of the malaria cases was indigenous, which was not found here for quite some time. All the cases were among migrant labourers or people who had visited other states. When workers return from their native place, they carry the disease,” added the DMO.
Malaria spreading mosquito species has not been identified in any of the health surveys conducted in Ernakulam, he added. Disease prevention measures like vector control, source reduction and chlorination of drinking water sources, have been intensified with the support of other agencies.