By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Thirty local government units (LGUs) in Negros Occidental have suspected leptospirosis cases, based on monitoring by the Provincial Health Office (PHO).
PHO’s data on September 16 showed 125 suspected leptospirosis cases were recorded with 15 suspected deaths.
This is higher compared to the 101 recorded in August.
Ten suspected leptospirosis cases were recorded in Murcia town (with five deaths) and the cities of Silay (with two deaths) and Talisay.
The PHO is advising the public to avoid wading in floodwaters and to wear boots to prevent getting the bacteria that cause leptospirosis.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, the bacteria that cause leptospirosis spread through urine from infected animals such as cattle, pigs, horses, and dogs.
In the Philippines, the illness usually comes from rats.
Infected animals may continue to excrete the bacteria.
Humans can become infected if they come into contact with water, soil and even food that has been contaminated by the leptospirosis bacteria.
Among its symptoms include high fever, headaches, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, jaundice, red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rashes.
A patient will become sick in two days to four weeks after exposure to a contaminated source.
If left untreated, leptospirosis can cause kidney or liver failure.
The PHO has urged Negrenses to immediately seek medical attention if they start experiencing symptoms.
The public was also advised to always keep their surroundings clean as it would help minimize rat infestation./DGB, WDJ