Beware of leptospirosis due to floods, says DOH

Published November 16, 2020, 2:54 PM

by Betheena Unite

While there are no cases of leptospirosis recorded so far, the Department of Health is expecting the possibility of some individuals exhibiting symptoms this week after a series of floods struck the country this month.

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire
(PCOO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Wala pa tayong recorded (We still have no recorded cases of leptospirosis),” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Monday during an online media forum.

She added that leptospirosis also has an incubation period.

“So kung sila ay lumusong sa baha nung isang linggo because of typhoon, maaaring makakita tayo ng magkakasakit this coming week pa lang. Itong linggong ito hanggang next week. (If they wade through floods the other week because of typhoon, it’s possible to see some cases this coming week. This week to next week.) Some individuals may experience symptoms already,” Vergeire said.

Leptospirosis is a water-borne disease caused by leptospira bacteria. Its symptoms range from fever, muscle pain, and headache.

Vergeire also noted that the Health department has already prepositioned medicine for the illness, stressing that it is given for free in health centers and the country has a sufficient stock for it.

“Meron tayong second line drug for leptospirosis. Yung bigay ngayon ay ang doxycycline. It is being given as chemoprophylaxis (We have a second line drug for leptospirosis. Doxycycline is now being provided). Iniinom ‘pag ikaw ay lumusong sa baha (It is taken when you went through floods),”the undersecretary said.

“Kung mauubusan ng ganitong gamot, maaring gumamit ng amoxicilin pero dapat ay pine-prescribe ng doctor ito. Punta po tayo sa mga health facilities, libre po lahat yan. Nakapag-preposition na po ng gamot ang DOH. Nag-deliver pa kami ulit ng mga gamot para lahat ng kababayan na mangangailangan ay magkakaroon nito (If we run out of this medicine, we can use amoxicilin but it has to be prescribe by a doctor. You may go to health facilities, it’s free. We have already prepositioned and delivered the medicines for all Filipinos that might need to take the medicine),” she added.

Vergeire also noted that the second line drug for the illness is recommended by the World Health Organization.

 
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