Other disease outbreaks including dengue fever following last month's floods - which killed nearly 500 people and forced more than a million from their homes -have left 28 dead. On Tuesday, 27-year-old Shibin from Malappuram succumbed to the infection taking the total number of confirmed deaths due to leptospirosis to 42.
"Rat fever" and other diseases have killed at least 14 people after southern India's worst floods in almost a century, authorities said.
Commenting on the health crises in state Health Minister K K Shailaja has assured that there is no need to panic as remedial measures have been in implementation. She has instructed the health department to closely monitor the patients for at least three weeks. It affects human when they come in direct contact with the urine of infected animals or with a urine-contaminated surroundings.
Kerala, which has 44 rivers, witnessed its worst floods in 1924 following torrential rains. People in flood-hit areas and those engaged in cleaning work have been asked to take two 100mg doxycycline tablets after the meal twice a week.
Health officials in the state said there was no immediate cause for alarm and the situation was under control.
"Rats drown in flood water which contaminates it further, allowing the leptospiro bacteria to enter the human body through the skin", said Dr V Ravi, a professor of virology at India's National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro sciences. "The contemporary floods could perchance in a roundabout scheme lead to an develop in vector-borne diseases during the enlargement in the quantity and fluctuate of vector breeding habitats".
According to Live Mint, a health ministry spokesperson has said that there have been 200 confirmed cases of the waterborne disease across different districts of the flood-ravaged state.
"The victims had unfortunately not taken preventive medicine", the minister said. "We were well prepared to handle it", the additional director said.
He told Reuters: "This time it is a fast, progressive infection". Another 209 are under treatment with rat fever symptoms.