By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Department of Health-Region VI (DOH-6) has recorded a total of 33 fatalities due to leptospirosis in the Western Visayas between January and this month. Data from DOH-6 also shows a total of 313 cases of leptospirosis in the region.
Negros Occidental currently has the most with a total of 103 cases, resulting in 10 fatalities.
It was also revealed, most of the patients who contracted the infection were farm laborers.
Local health offices in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, issued a leptospirosis alert earlier this month after several areas experienced flooding due to heavy rains.
Health officials said individuals should avoid wading in floodwaters as they could contract the infection, which is 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.
If left untreated, the infection may cause kidney failure, brain damage, massive internal bleeding, and death./DGB, WDJ