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Leptospirosis epidemic feared in mumbai - 12 killed

Leptospirosis, the one of the feared form of epidemic fevers, is spread by a virulent bacteria in the urine of rats and dogs.

"We have 12 deaths (in the past fortnight) from leptospirosis as of Thursday evening and 45 confirmed cases in city hospitals, " Maharashtra state Health Minister Digvijay Khanvilkar told. Leptospirosis, which is a 'great mimicker' of symptoms is being misdiagnosed by majority of the private doctors and the patients come to public hospitals when their condition becomes serious, said the health minister.

Health minister has uttered his confidence in bringing down the disease and he said that test kits have been supplied to all public hospitals in the city and the state has begun a massive public education programme.

"The treatment is very simple and consists of a course of antibiotics, once the patient comes in on time. If there is delay death occurs."

The symptoms of this disease include high grade fever, headache, diarrhoea, pain in the joints or muscles. The disease is present in the urine of rats and is transmitted to humans through dogs, cattle and on contact with contaminated water.

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