ERJ staff report (BC)
Colombo, Sri Lanka - The Health Ministry of Sri Lanka is to introduce hygienic rubber socks for people engaged in agricultural work, especially farmers in paddy fields, to protect them from waterborne diseases such as leptospirosis (rat fever), reports Ananda Kannangara in the Sunday Observer.
About 20 persons, mostly farmers from agricultural districts including Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Ampara and also some flood victims have been reported with leptospirosis during the past few days.
The Health Ministry's epidemiology unit says that workers could wear the rubber socks, currently being tested, to prevent water contaminated with rat urine (or that of cattle, pigs, dogs or goats) from contacting wounds and scratches on their legs.
The symptoms of leptospirosis are high fever, red eyes, headache, vomiting and muscle pain.