Via the Business Mirror: Leptospirosis cases triple to 1,728–DOH. Excerpt:
The Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public against leptospirosis as it reported a total of 1,728 cases from January 1 to May 26 this year, up by 211.35 percent from 555 cases during the same period last year.
The DOH also reported 75 leptospirosis deaths during the period as against the 40 recorded in 2011.
The DOH records indicate that 50 percent or 868 cases were from Region 10, that had only seven in 2011; and 19.3 percent or 6,333 cases in Region 6, against 143 last year.
In Metro Manila 64 cases were reported—22 in Manila 20 in Quezon City and a few cases in other cities.
In its advisory, the DOH said the persons who might be afflicted by leptospirosis are those living in flooded areas, those who recently waded or swam in flood waters, have had high fever for two to three days; fever was accompanied by body pains, chills, headaches and red eyes (like sore eyes); jaundice (yellowing of the skin); decreased levels of urination, and urine was tea-colored (a dark amber color).
The DOH said the symptoms occur 10 days after a person first wades in flood waters, wet soil or vegetation.
Leptospirosis is an infection caused by direct exposure to bacteria found in animal urine and feces. Patients can get infected when they swallow flood water or when bacteria enter the body through open wounds, eyes, nose, or breaks in the skin.
As part of the precautions, the DOH reiterated calls to the public to avoid flooded areas and to refrain from coming in contact with flood water, to wear protective clothing like pants, rubber boots, gloves or rubber jumpsuits, maintain their home clean and getting rid of rats.
The DOH advised those who have to wade through floods to protect the skin from bacteria by washing with soap and water the parts of the body that have come into contact with flood water.