The death toll due to rat fever outbreak in the flood-battered Kerala mounted to 27 today, a report in The Indian Express said. It said that the state government has sounded an alert across 13 of the 14 districts against leptospirosis \u2013 a bacterial disease spread through the urine of infected animals and can be transmitted to humans. It said that some among those who died were involved in cleaning in flood-affected areas. As a precautionary measure, the state health department has asked people to take precautions and preventive medicine. Health Minister KK Shylaja said that medicine to prevent the spread of bacterial disease has been made available in all hospitals. Shylaja informed that rat fever clinics have also been opened in all government hospital to provide specialised treatment. \u201cAlert has been issued to 13 out of 14 districts. Volunteers and officials engaged in cleaning and relief activities in flood-affected regions have been strictly directed to take the preventive medicine,\u201d Shylaja said. \u201cWe have opened rat fever (leptospirosis) clinics in all government hospitals. Private hospitals were also asked to remain alert and follow the treatment protocol,\u2019\u2019 the Minister added. According to the health department officials, there were 34 suspected leptospirosis cases in August and 229 confirmed ones were reported, the IE report said. It added that in the first two days of September, as many as 160 suspected cases and 73 confirmed ones have been reported. Most of the cases of leptospirosis have been reported from flood-hit districts. According to a report in news agency IANS, in the last two days, eight people have died due to the disease. Meanwhile, with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is leaving for medical treatment to the US, state minister EP Jayarajan, the de facto number two in the government, has told media that elaborate arrangements are in place and medicines will be given for free to all. If data shared by health department officials are to go by, around 20 lakh people had come in contact with flood water and therefore, all should take preventive medicine.