Here come the floods: DOH warns vs leptospirosis

The Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public to be on guard against the threat of leptospirosis due to the frequency of torrential rains and flooding brought by weather disturbances.
In an advisory, the DOH stressed that leptospirosis was a fatal illness contracted by wading through floodwaters contaminated with rat urine or feces.
“The public is strongly advised to avoid contracting leptospirosis… It is a deadly illness but it can be avoided and addressed if treated immediately,” it said over the weekend.

Leptospirosis is a disease contracted when floodwaters contaminated with leptospira bacteria from rat urine or feces enter the body through the eyes, nose, mouth or open wounds.
Symptoms include fever, chills, red eyes, jaundice, muscle pain, severe headache and little urine production.
To avoid contracting leptospirosis, the DOH reminded people not to wade in floodwaters. But if it cannot be avoided, one should wear protective gear such as boots, it added.

The public should also eliminate rats in their surroundings by keeping it clean.
For people who develop fever two days after wading in floodwaters, they should immediately go to the nearest health center or consult a doctor, the DOH said.

By: Julie M. Aurelio – @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer

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