Lepto cases on the rise in Cebu, Central Visayas
AS THE rainy season continues, the health department warned the public against wading in floodwater to avoid contracting leptospirosis, a disease caused by bacteria from rat waste.
At least eight persons died out of the 50 reported cases of leptospirosis in Cebu and other parts of Central Visayas as of January to June 2018, the Department of Health Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (DOH – RESU 7) said.
This is 11 percent higher than last year’s toll of 45 cases and 9 deaths for the same period.
Cebu City still has the highest number of incidents in the region at 22 percent or seven cases and four deaths, followed by Lapu-Lapu City with 4 cases but with no fatality, and the towns of Ubay, Talibon and Trinidad in Bohol with three cases each.
Among the Bohol towns, only Ubay reported one death.
The casualties were among 99 persons in the country who perished due to leptospirosis this year.
Cebu City Health Office head Dr. Alma Corpin warned the public to keep off from flood water which has high possibility of being contaminated with rat waste.
“If you really need to cross the flood, it is preferable that they wear rubber boots especially when they know that they have open wounds that are accessible to the floodwater,” Corpin said.
Corpin said the cases of leptospirosis are expected to shoot up in the second half of the year due to the rainy season.
Some symptoms of the disease include high fever, muscle pain, eye redness, chilling, severe headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and yellow skin discoloration.
If one has shown such symptoms, Corpin said they should immediately seek consultation in their local health centers.
She said that Barangay Health Workers (BHW) in the city are also tasked to do an information drive against diseases that are rampant during the rainy season, including leptospirosis and dengue.
“Almost the same ang symptoms nila (leptospirosis and dengue), so when the BHW comes and a person in the household has fever, we advise for the patient to consult gyod dayon,” said Corpin.
Corpin added that while leptospirosis is treatable, the chance of fatality is high if there is no early diagnosis and treatment given.
“It is definitely treatable. In fact, dali na mo-respond sa antibiotic basta early lang ma-diagnose. It becomes dangerous when not treated right away because the disease develops fast and may lead to renal (kidney) malfunction,” said Corpin.
If left untreated, leptospirosis could also lead to brain damage, massive internal bleeding and death.
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