KOCHI: A naturopath named Jacob Vadakkanchery was arrested on Saturday after he allegedly spread false news about medicines given by the government to people in Kerala affected by leptospirosis. The naturopath questioned the authenticity of medicine distributed by the government by spreading messages on social media.
Vadakkanchery was arrested by the state CB-CID after Health Minister KK Shailaja directed the state police to carry out a probe against him.
The officials had earlier warned Vadakkanchery against carrying out a false propaganda to create panic among people in the rain-affected state.
The minister had earlier this week asked the Director General of Police Lokanath Behera to initiate action against Vadakkanchery for spreading misleading information on rat fever.
The government action against him came amid efforts by the health department to control the spread of leptospirosis reported in many parts of Kerala after the floods last month.
Various types of fever, including leptospirosis, has claimed the lives of 11 people in Kerala since August 29. As many as 302 confirmed and 719 suspected cases of the bacterial disease have also been reported in the state since August 1, most of them in Kozhikode district.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects both humans and animals. It infects human when they come in direct contact with the urine of infected animals or with a urine-contaminated environment. Some of the early symptoms of the disease include high fever, muscle pain, headache, redness of the eye, vomiting, diarrhoea among others.
The torrential rains and floods in Kerala since the onset of the Southwest monsoon on May 29 had claimed the lives of 491 people and left a trail of destruction across the state.
(With PTI Inputs)