Wednesday March 20, 2019

The outbreak of Leptospirosis with monsoon: Symptoms and precautions

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monsoon water logging

Dr. J.K. Bhutani

Come monsoons and the outbreaks of Leptospirosis, a zoonotic disease are reported from coastal districts Maharashtra.
Leptospirosis is primarily a contagious disease of animals, occasionally infecting humans. It is caused by pathogenic Spirochete of the genus Leptospira, a type of bacteria that traditionally consist of two species L. interrogans and L. biflexa.

How does it spread?

The domestic animals carry the microorganisms and therefore act as carriers of the leptospires. Together the rodents and the cattle excrete large number of organisms in their urine and thus are responsible for the contamination of large and small water bodies.

In monsoons the water logged areas force the rodent population to abandon their burrows and contaminate the stagnant water by their urine. The farmers and agricultural labourers working in the water logged contaminated fields catch the infection if they move in with abraded or cut skin.

Clinical Symptoms of Leptosirosis

The common symptoms are: fever, muscle pains, conjunctival haemorrhage, headache, pulmonary and renal hemorrhagic complications.

The patients are often misdiagnosed as malaria, dengue hemorrhagic fever, viral hepatitis etc. The clinical suspicion must be reported to the medical specialist soon for proper diagnosis with the laboratory aids.

Weil’s syndrome, is the more severe form of leptospirosis having more severe course with jaundice, oliguria and haemorrhagic complications

How to prevent the outbreak?

Elimination of water logging, ensuring proper drainage of rainwater and control of the rodents will prevent the outbreak of leptospirosis. These measures are typically taken by the civic bodies but at individual level the following measures will be of help:

  1. Do not move in stagnant water without proper rain boots and covered skin especially if you have cut or abraded skin.
  1. Wash the exposed skin immediately after coming from the water soaked area.
  1. On doctor’s recommendation, one may take antibiotic Doxycycline 200 milligram once a week for the period of 6-8 weeks. This is prophylactic (preventive) in nature. On the same line, doxycycline may be given to agricultural workers (example: paddy field workers, canal cleaning workers in endemic areas) from where large number of cases have been reported like in Mumbai, now a days.

JK1

Dr J.K. Bhutani MD is a protagonist of preventive and promotive health care based on austere biology and facilitating self healing powers of human organism.
You can follow him at https://twitter.com/drjkbhutani

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)