‘Lepto’ outbreak spreading

TEN more villages were added by the Department of Health (DoH) among barangays in Metro Manila with leptospirosis outbreak, bringing the total to 28.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III yesterday said that Caloocan City was added to the list of affected cities, with two villages registering cases of leptospirosis.

“Ang lugar na maraming tao at bahain, ‘yan ang pinakamalaking factor sa pagkalat, pagdami ng lepto cases (Populated areas prone to flooding. Those are the biggest factors in the spread of leptospirosis),” he said.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection on humans caused by contact with flood water, mud, or food contaminated with the urine of rats, dogs, pigs, cattle or goats.

“Nakakalungkot, may pumanaw na 58 na sa mga mahigit 454 kaso ng lepto mula (It’s saddening that 58 have died from the 454 cases of lepto registered from) January 1 to July 5,” Duque said.

Among the symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, headache, muscle pain, eye redness, tea-colored urine, cough, diarrhea and vomiting.

If left untreated, leptospirosis may cause kidney failure, brain damage, massive internal bleeding and death, the DoH said.

In the same interview Duque said the DoH is ensuring that hospitals are prepared and well-equipped to treat leptospirosis cases.

He appealed to the public to observe personal hygiene and avoid wading in flood waters.
The health chief said the public could rely on state health subsidies when seeking treatment for the disease, with PhilHealth providing an P11,000 leptospirosis package.

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