By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental Provincial Health Office (PHO) yesterday confirmed a total of eight reported fatalities in Negros Occidental due to leptospirosis.
In a radio interview, PHO head, Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, said there are currently around 85 to 86 cases in the province.
He added, based on records from January to December of last year, there were 174 cases, which resulted in 10 fatalities.
Tumimbang pointed out, the fatality rate for leptospirosis is usually about one percent.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease caught by touching soil or water contaminated with the urine of an infected animal, such as rats; with symptoms including high fever, severe headache, chills, red eyes, muscle pain, and abdominal pain.
Amid recent flooding due to the ongoing rainy season, Tumimbang advised against wading in flood waters, especially those living in heavily-populated areas where rats often congregate.
He suggested wearing rain boots if required to wade through flood waters.
Parents are also advised to stop their children from bathing or swimming in flood waters, while farmers must take adequate precautions when working in the fields during flooding.
Patients with leptospirosis are advised to seek immediate medical attention if they contracted the infection./DGB, WDJ