11 deaths due to leptospirosis in W. Visayas

11 deaths due to leptospirosis in W. Visayas

ILOILO CITY — The Department of Health’s Center for Health Development (DOH CHD) 6 (Western Visayas) has urged the public not to focus merely on dengue but also to be vigilant against leptospirosis, especially this rainy season.

Dr. Jessie Glen Alonsabe, head of DOH CHD-6 Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU), said in an interview Friday that from January 1 to July 6, his unit had recorded 98 cases and 11 deaths, mostly farmers.

Alonsabe said the figure is lower compared to the 248 cases and 35 deaths during the same period last year when there was an “outbreak” in Guimaras. 

He, however, warned that the number may still increase.

“Our farmers have not gone full swing with the planting activities,” Alonsabe said, urging the public to drain clogged canals when they tidy up in response to the dengue outbreak.

“We need to clear our waterways. We target the same, such as our clogged drainage, waterways and canal,” he added. 

He also advised farmers to visit their health centers if there are available prophylaxis they can take as prevention. The medicine is free if available.

Alonsabe said that since they could not advise farmers to wear boots, the most that they can do is to tell them to wash their feet thoroughly after wading in their farmlands. 

Since they could not avoid having cuts or wounds they were also advised to just go to the nearest health center.  

“They should not self-medicate,” he emphasized.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the leptospira spirochetes bacteria that is spread through the urine of infected animals, especially rats.   Perla Lena / PNA – northboundasia.com