Rat fever raises its head again

By Dilanthi Jayamanne


A resurgence of leptospirosis, better known as rat fever, had gone almost unnoticed during the past five months due to the rapid spread of dengue.

 The Epidemiology Unit website states that 875 cases of rat fever were reported from January till Wednesday (18). A majority being from the Ratnapura (210) followed by Kalutara (111), Galle (86), Moneragala (49) and Matara (43). The Unit in charge of Leptospirosis control could not be contacted for comments on the number of deaths despite repeated attempts.

However leptospirosis deaths were reported following last month’s festive season as traditional games were held in harvested fields, health sources said.

The highest number of cases was reported in March this year, while April recorded 193 cases. 

The Unit statistics reveal that last year 1,988 cases of rat fever have been reported from January till the end of May.

A majority of cases have been reported from Ratnapura (637) followed by Kalutara (448), Galle (373) Gampaha (336), Puttalam (276), Matara (209), Kegalle (188), Monaragala (175), Kurunegala (172), Badulla (135), Kandy (118) and Hambantota (106).

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