Leptospirosis cases surge 51% in first 7 months
The incidence of leptospirosis, an infectious waterborne disease, has spiked by 51 percent in the first seven months of the year as the country experienced heavy rain and flooding brought by recent tropical cyclones.
Based on data from the Department of Health, there were a total of 2,168 confirmed leptospirosis cases from January 1 to July 22 this year, higher than the 1,432 cases in the same period last year.
From June 25 to July 15, 168 new cases were reported nationwide, a slight 4 percent decrease from the 175 cases registered two weeks ago.
DOH, however, warned that infections “may still increase with late reports.”
At least 233 people have died due to leptospirosis since January this year, or a case fatality rate of 10.8 percent.
The regions of Central Luzon and the Cordilleras showed “continuous increase” in cases in the last two weeks, according to DOH.
Leptospirosis is usually transmitted to humans from water contaminated by animal urine, particularly from rats, and comes in contact with lesions in the skin or eyes. Symptoms include fever, chills and severe headache, which usually appear four to 14 days following exposure to contaminated floodwaters or mud.
To prevent getting infected, the public should “maintain the cleanliness of your surroundings, particularly areas where garbage is stored,” said the health agency. INQ