First cholera death reported in State; public told to be hygienic

Health Department and officials in the State warns the public to maintain hygiene as Kerala reports its first death due to cholera this year. The death took place on July 24 at Vallikkode, Pathanamthitta, and the information was published last day after the post-mortem report confirmed the cause of death. It is informed that the deceased was an 18-year-old migrant labourer and he was soon admitted at the general hospital when the fever aggravated. The death happened at the hospital. Three cases of cholera have been found in Kozhikode district and three other suspected cases of cholera have been reported in the State.

“No other case of cholera has been reported from Pathanamthitta. The deceased was a migrant labourer settled at Vallikkode and the people who were staying there along with this person have left the locality. We had taken preventive measures as soon as fever began spreading and these activities are in progress. There is no chance for another cholera case to be reported from the district,” said Pathanamthitta DMO Dr. Anitha Kumari.

The number of fever-affected cases is rising year-by-year in the State. So far 200 lives have been lost owing to various types of fever. Since January, around 15 lakh people have been hit by different communicable diseases and around 29,000 dysentery cases have been reported.

It was reported that the highest number of fatalities was caused by H1N1. This is followed by viral fever and dengue. The fourth communicable disease which caused death was leptospirosis. National dailies in June had reported that one in every 23 of Kerala population is hit by any of the communicable diseases. Fatalities have also been caused by chickenpox, hepatitis A, diarrhoea, malaria and hepatitis B.

Doctors and health professionals advise the public to avoid food from restaurants and other public outlets. “Climate change is believed to play an instrumental role in the rise of fever cases. It is clear from the data available that the number of fever-affected cases has only increased in the last several years. The rise is at an alarming rate. The Health Department is doing whatever possible to curb the situation. The department along with the Suchitwa Mission has been conducting cleaning drives at schools and other public places. In emergency cases, the Rapid Response Team in the districts meets to discuss the issue and immediately takes necessary steps. Such teams are active at public health centres and other hospitals,” said Ernakulam DMO N K Kuttappan. He further said that the rise of fever cases in the district is under control. “Till last month, more than a thousand fever patients would consult doctors in a day while the number has considerably reduced this month,” he added. Cholera cases have not been reported from the district.

The health professionals also suggest avoiding public toilets and latrines. It is suggested to use chlorinated water for drinking purpose to control the spread of diseases through water. According to an alert report published by the Kerala Health Department, the prime reason for the outbreak of communicable diseases including cholera is the breeding of mosquitoes in the pile of waste. Proper waste disposal by local bodies is hence recommended by health professionals to control fever hazards.


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