Bulacan intensifies drive vs. leptospirosis

By Philippine News Agency

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan -- The provincial government of Bulacan is implementing intensified measures to safeguard residents from leptospirosis.

Motorists brave flood waters along Mac Arthur Highway in Meycauayan, Bulacan, July 18, 2018. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN) (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, head of the Provincial Health Office-Public Health (PHO-PH), on Tuesday said proper and full information dissemination are being conducted through radio, social media, and a broadcast being shown on the LED billboard at the provincial capitol compound to inform Bulakenyos against leptospirosis.

Gomez said they started the distribution of medicines like Doxycycline Hyclate as prophylactic regimen, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ointments to flood-affected areas.

She said that they also conducted sanitary education to residents on the importance of washing the uncovered scratches or bruises exposed to possibly contaminated water with soap and running water.

“Leptospirosis is contracted through exposure to floodwaters contaminated with the urine of rats and other animals infected by the leptospira bacteria. The leptospira is the natural habitat of rats. That is why leptospirosis is always being contracted through the urine of rats,” Gomez said.

Acting Governor Daniel R. Fernando, for his part, emphasized the importance of prevention more than cure.

“Let us do ways on how to prevent contracting such kind of disease,” Fernando said.

PHO-PH disease surveillance officer Brian Alfonso said the number of leptospirosis cases in the province of Bulacan is not as high as that of Metro Manila.

Alfonso said that there were 11 suspected leptospirosis cases from January 1- July 2018 gathered from different disease-reporting units of the province.

One suspected death case from Norzagaray town was also reported, he said.

“The provincial government is continuously monitoring the rate case of leptospirosis in order to prevent the outbreak with the help and coordination of different barangays while keeping the people updated to this disease,” Gomez said.

Infection may result in fever, headache, reddish eyes, pain in the thigh or legs, and in more severe cases liver and kidney failure and body discoloration.