394 deaths as leptospirosis cases double to over 2K this year: DOH

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said it has recorded 2,229 leptospirosis cases nationwide with 394 deaths from January to August 4 this year.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said this translates to a 105-percent increase from 1,085 cases recorded in the same period last year.

The National Capital Region has the highest number of leptospirosis cases with a total of 1,227, posting a 358-percent increase from 268 cases recorded in the first eight months of 2017.

Out of the 394 leptospirosis patients who died within the year, 69 of them were from NCR.

It added that the increase in the number of leptospirosis cases was due to recent floods caused by heavy rains which battered Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

To personally educate students and teachers on the prevention of dengue and leptospirosis, Duque visited Longos Elementary School in Malabon City Wednesday.

“Mahalaga na may kaalaman na sila kung paano ito maiiwasan habang bata pa sila lalo pa’t ang karamihang biktima ng dengue at leptospirosis ay nasa 14 hanggang 49 years old (It is important that they have knowledge of how to avoid it while they’re young because the usual victims of dengue and leptospirosis are from 14 to 49 years old),” he said.

While they have information campaigns for both diseases, Duque said it is better for communities to hear directly from health officials that both diseases can be prevented despite their being fatal.

Duque reminded the students and teachers to avoid unnecessary wading in the flood and to be more cautious about mosquito bites.

“Ang mga lamok na may dalang dengue tina-target nito ang blind spots gaya ng likod ng braso at hita pati na ang batok at leeg (Mosquitoes carrying dengue target blind spots like back of arms and legs and nape and neck also),” he said.

Since mosquitoes and rats easily breed during typhoons, Duque encouraged the public to be disciplined in garbage or waste management to avoid flooding especially in congested areas or cities.

In July, the health department declared a leptospirosis outbreak in 28 barangays in Quezon City, Taguig City, Pasig City, Parañaque City, Navotas City, Mandaluyong City, Malabon City and Caloocan City. Ma. Teresa Montemayor/PNA – northboundasia.com