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Govt. sounds alert against infectious diseases

By Special Correspondent

The Health department has sounded an alert to all districts to intensify disease surveillance and preventive measures against infectious diseases as climate change-induced changes and the upcoming monsoon season are likely to exacerbate the possibilities of infectious disease outbreaks.

The pre-monsoon Arogyajagratha campaign needs to be strengthened. More attention should be paid to pockets where migrant labourers are housed in large numbers and the Health department should make the right interventions in districts by identifying hotspots, Health Minister, Veena George, said, at a high-level meeting of officials of all district health administrations here on Wednesday. State-level disease monitoring should be strengthened, she added.

All districts need to be on guard as dengue fever and leptospirosis cases are beginning to go up. Kozhikode district has been reporting Shigella cases regularly, it was pointed out at the meeting

Fever lasting more than two days requires detailed investigation and special attention should be paid to zoonotic diseases.

Preventive measures

The accent should be on consuming safe drinking water and food which has been cooked well and hygienically.

Environmental cleanliness is important to prevent all infectious diseases, it was pointed out. The meeting also stressed on Doxycycline prophylaxis, which can prevent leptospirosis in those people who are engaged in farming or other manual labour which habitually exposes them to contaminated or polluted waters.

Ms. George said that the inspections by food safety officials in hotels and other food joints would continue and that a review meeting of the health squad would be held. The focus will also shift to juice shops, which has to maintain utmost hygiene to prevent contamination of water. Check-posts will also be continuously monitored

Along with inspections in eateries, the public should be given adequate awareness on food safety issues, Ms. George said.

The Principal Secretary (Health), Rajan Khobragade; Commissioner of Food Safety V.R. Vinod; senior Health department officials, and district medical and surveillance officers took part in the meeting.

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