AS tropical storm Ineng brought floods in many parts of the country while moving toward Taiwan the Department of Health yesterday advised residents of CALABARZON (Cavite. Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) to be mindful of wading in flood waters to avoid contracting leptospirosis.
Dr. Eduardo C. Janairo, DOH CALABARZON director, reminded everyone to avoid walking in flood after a total of 75 leptospirosis cases were recorded in CALABARZON from January 1 to August 17.
‘’If we have no business to go outside our homes, it is best to stay inside and be safe. Hindi tayo nakakasiguro na ang dadaanan natin ay hindi baha at lalong hindi tayo nakakasiguro na malinis ang tubig nito dahil sa mga basurang nakakalat sa paligid. Mas makabubuti nang umiwas at kung lalabas naman makabubuting magsuot ng bota at siguraduhin na walang sugat o anumang gasgas ang ating paa o binti dahil dito maaaring makapasok ang bacteria na nagdudulot ng leptospirosis. Kailangan din nating uminon ng prophylaxis gaya ng docycyline bago tayo lumusong sa tubig upang makaiwas sa impeksyon na dala ng leptospirosis,” he said.
Leptospirosis is transmitted through skin abrasions while walking in moist soil, rice fields, and sugar cane plantations contaminated with the urine of an infected animal, like rats. One can also acquire the disease through contaminated water like swimming pools, flood waters, accidental immersion, occupational abrasion or direct contact with urine or even tissues of infected animals.
Janairo warned that leptospirosis is a deadly disease and advised the residents to immediately go to the doctor once they feel the symptoms.
“Magpakunsulta agad sa pinakamalapit na health center kung kayo ay nakararanas ng lagnat, panginginig ng katawan o ‘chills,’ pananakit ng ulo, binti, kalamnan at kasu-kasuan, namumula ang mga mata, naninilaw ang balat at nahihirapang umihi lao na kung kayo ay sumuong sa baha o sa tubig upang masiguro natin ang ating kaligtasan,” he said.
The province with the highest number of cases is Rizal with 34 leptospirosis and 7 deaths reported, followed by Cavite with 18 cases and 2 deaths; Laguna with 14 cases and 1 death; Batangas – 9 cases and 2 deaths. There were no reported cases in Quezon.
Among the top five municipalities and cities with leptospirosis cases are from Rizal Province — Antipolo City with 15 recorded cases, Rodriguez with 9 cases and San Mateo with 6 cases. Binan in Laguna and Dasmarinas in Cavite followed with 5 cases each.
Ages of cases ranged from less than 1 year to 72 years old. The majority of the cases were male with 13 and most of the cases belonged to the 11-20 years old age group.
“Leptospirosis, just like dengue, is fatal but also preventable. All we need is to clean our surroundings, be sure that our garbage is well-attended and improve flood control measures in the community,” Janairo said.