By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – Eighty one leptospirosis cases were reported and recorded in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) from January 1 to October 6, 2018, representing a 31 percent increase compared to 61 cases in the same period last year.
Data from the Department of Health Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) showed that 5 leptospirosis-related deaths were also reported in the first ten months of 2018 in the region.
Only one death was reported last year.
Most of the cases were recorded in Benguet with 14 cases or 17.5 percent of the total number of cases followed by Apayao and Baguio City with 10 cases each or 12.5 percent of total cases, Kalinga (7 cases), Ifugao (4 cases), Abra and Mountain Province (2 cases each).
Most of the victims are males.
Geeny Anne Austria of the DOH-CAR RESU explained that leptospirosis is a group of zoonotic bacterial disease with variable manifestations and it is characterized by the sudden onset of fever, headache, chills, severe myalgia in calves and thighs and conjunctiva suffusion.
Wading in floodwaters contaminated with the urine of infected rodents/rats is the main cause if leptospirosis.
Health authorities are also advising the public to avoid flooded areas if possible, wear boots when walking in flooded streets, carry out proper hygienic and sanitation practices and control the proliferation of rats.