CALAMBA CITY, Laguna — The number of leptospirosis cases in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) has reached 75, with 12 recorded deaths, the Department of Health (DoH) reported.
The DoH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) said the number of leptospirosis cases in the region recorded from 1 January to 17 August this year is 62 percent lower compared with last year’s 199 recorded cases during the same period.
The infectious disease caused by leptospira bacteria from urine of rats has already claimed 12 lives in the region, with Rizal province having the highest number of cases at 34 with seven deaths.
Cavite has recorded 18 cases and two deaths; Laguna with 14 cases and one death; Batangas – nine cases and two deaths while Quezon has no reported cases.
The cities and towns in the region with high incidence are Antipolo City with 15 recorded cases; Rodriguez – nine cases and San Mateo – six cases in Rizal province while Binan City in Laguna and Dasmariñas City in Cavite reported five leptospirosis cases each.
The ages of cases ranged from less than 1 year to 72 years old. Majority of the cases were male with 13 and most of the cases belonged to the 11-20 years old age group.
According to the DoH, leptospirosis is transmitted through skin abrasions by accidental immersion, occupational abrasion or direct contact with urine or even tissues of infected animals. The disease may be present in swimming pools, floodwaters, moist soil, rice fields, and sugar cane plantations contaminated with the urine of an infected animal, like rats.
DoH Calabarzon regional director Eduardo C. Janairo advised those who walk through or wade into flooded areas and streets to wear boots as the bacteria causing the disease may seep in through open wounds or scratches on feet and thighs.
“Kailangan din nating uminom ng prophylaxis gaya ng docycyline bago tayo lumusong sa tubig upang makaiwas sa impeksyon na dala ng leptospirosis (it is necessary to take prophylaxis like docycyline before wading through flood areas to prevent leptospirosis infection),” Janairo said in his meeting with officials of the province of Cavite Friday..
Janairo also urged residents to go to the nearest health center or hospital for any symptoms such as fever; body chills; headache and pains in the thigh, muscles and joints; redness in the eyes; skin turning pale and yellowish; and difficulty in urinating.
“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,” he said.
“If we have no business to go outside our homes, it is best to stay inside and be safe,” he added.
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