DOH warns of surge in leptospirosis cases

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    THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday warned of a possible surge in leptospirosis cases in the country due to rains and flooding brought by typhoons, including Quinta.

    “Now that we have these rains, we expect that the number (of leptospirosis cases) will surge,” said Dr. Eric Tayag, director of the DOH Knowledge Management and Information Technology Department.

    Tayag said that more than 500 leptospirosis cases and over 50 deaths have been reported from January to August 2020.

    “It is about 66 percent lower from last year,” Tayag said.

    He warned, however, that unless the public keeps a vigilant attitude against the infection, the cases may increase.

    Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the Leptospira spirochetes bacteria that is spread through the urine of infected animals, especially rats, usually in contaminated floodwaters.

    Its symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headache, reddish eyes, dark colored urine, and yellowish body discoloration. If left untreated early, it will lead to death.

    Tayag said people living in areas prone to flooding and have poor waste management are susceptible to the infection.

    “Let us not disregard symptoms of leptospirosis,” said Tayag.