THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday assured the public of adequate supply of medicines against leptospirosis amid the severe flooding in various areas, especially Cagayan and Isabela.
In a virtual press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH has prepositioned the necessary medicines, like doxycycline and amoxicillin.
“We were able to preposition the necessary medicines, like doxycycline, which is used as a chemo prophylaxis for those that waded in floodwater,” said Vergeire.
“And in case they run out, we can use amoxicillin, which has been recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the second line drug for leptospirosis. And we have enough stock for that,” she added.
The health official stressed that taking prophylaxis must come with the necessary prescription.
“It needs doctor’s prescription. So we urge those who waded in flood water to visit their health centers and get them for free,” said Vergeire, adding they have yet to receive reports of a surge in leptospirosis cases
“We have an incubation period for leptospirosis. So for those that waded in flood water last week, we may start seeing symptoms this week,” said Vergeire.
Over the weekend, hundreds of thousands were displaced by the massive flooding in Cagayan and Isabela caused by Typhoon Ulysses.
Leptospirosis is a disease caused by the leptospira bacteria that enters through wounds that came in contact with flood waters, vegetation, moist soil contaminated with the urine of infected animals, especially rats.