Spike in leptospirosis deaths raises alert in Dagupan CityPhilippine Daily Inquirer
DAGUPAN CITY—In a week, three persons here have died of leptospirosis while seven others are being treated in different hospitals, a health official said on Thursday.
Dr. Leonard Carbonell, city health officer, said the victims were Oliver Maramba, 25, of Barangay Mayombo, who died on Aug. 14; John Mark Tello, 25, of Barangay Poblacion Oeste, who died on Aug. 17; and Alfredo Caadiang, 19, of Barangay Pantal, who died on Aug. 19.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease caused by exposure to water contaminated by urine of animals, especially rats.
Carbonell said he expected leptospirosis cases to come out last week following the continuous flooding in 18 of 31 villages here due to rains dumped by the southwest monsoon and Typhoon “Helen.”
“We have constantly reminded the people here through health advisories to avoid walking in floodwaters. Or if they cannot avoid it, they should use protective boots,” Carbonell said.
He said that as early as the first week of August, barangay nurses had distributed doxycycline, an antibiotic, in high risk villages.
He said one of the victims worked in neighboring Calasiao town and had to pass though flooded streets here on his way to work. “He had fever and flu-like symptoms but he refused to be confined in a hospital,” Carbonell said.
Leptospirosis cases were first recorded in the city in 2009, in the aftermath of the massive flooding in Pangasinan due to heavy rains caused by Typhoon “Pepeng” and excess water released by the San Roque Dam in San Manuel town.
Carbonell said at that time, 39 cases were reported, with two deaths. In 2010, only six cases were reported but three persons died. Last year, 29 cases were recorded with two deaths. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon