The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public to avoid wading in flood water as this may cause leptospirosis.
DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire made the statement amid frequent rains recently that caused flooding in some parts of the country.
“Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection we get from animals. The bacteria can easily spread in flood waters and infect wounds or breaks in the skin,” said Vergeire during a recent press briefing.
Vergeire emphasized the importance of maintaining cleanliness.
“Panatilihin po nating malinis ang ating kapaligiran, partikular na ang imbakan ng basura dahil dito po madalas naninirahan ang mga daga na may dalang leptospirosis (Let’s keep our surroundings clean, especially the garbage storage because this is where rats that carry leptospirosis often live),” she said.
“Para naman sa ating mga tahanan, puksain po natin ang mga daga sa paggamit ng mga rat traps at poison (As for our homes, let’s eliminate the rats using rat traps and poison),” she added.
It is also important not to expose wounds to floodwaters, said Vergeire.
“Iwasan po nating lumusong, maglaro, o lumangoy sa tubig-baha, lalong lalo na kung tayo ay may sugat (Let’s avoid wading, playing, or swimming in floodwaters, especially if we have a wound),” she said.
“At kung hindi naman ito maiiwasan, magsuot po tayo ng bota at kung wala talaga, agaran po tayong maligo at maglinis ng paa at iba pang bahagi ng katawan na lumubog sa tubig-baha (And if it cannot be avoided, wear boots and if there really aren’t any, immediately wash and clean your feet and other parts of the body),” she added.
Vergeire also advised the public to seek medical help if they experience symptoms of leptospirosis.
“Kung sakali po na magkakaroon kayo ng sintomas ng leptospirosis sa loob ng dalawang araw kagaya ng lagnat, pananakit ng ulo at kalamnan, paninilaw ng balat at mata, at iba pa, agaran po tayong tumungo sa ating health center at magpa check up (If you happen to have symptoms of leptospirosis within two days such as fever, headache and muscle aches, yellow coloration of the skin and eyes, among others, immediately go to the health center for a check up),” she said.
“Iinom din kayo, bibigyan kayo ng antibiotics na nireseta na gamot ng inyong doktor para magkaroon kayo ng prophylaxis (You will be given antibiotics prescribed by your doctor so that you have prophylaxis),” she added.
The DOH already recorded a total of 1,178 leptospirosis cases from Jan. 1 to July 23. This is 27 percent higher compared to the 928 cases during the same period last year. Meanwhile, the DOH also recorded 156 deaths due to leptospirosis.