Rising leptospirosis incidence in Metro Manila noted
MANILA, Philippines—With the rising cases of leptospirosis in Metro Manila, Department of Health Center for Health Development for Metro Manila (DoH-CHD-MM) on Wednesday reminded hospitals to provide Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) to patients suffering from high fever in order to immediately detect the disease.
DOH-CHD-MM Regional Director Eduardo Janairo told hospitals in Quezon City, Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Pasay and Valenzuela to have patients with high fever undergo RDT to prevent the spread of leptospirosis, an infectious disease characterized by fever, muscle pain and jaundice, and in severe cases involving the liver and kidney.
Janairo said that the disease is “preventable and can be treated once it is properly diagnosed.”
Janairo also reminded the public that with the “rainy season far from over, as much as possible, let us avoid wading and spending much time submerging our feet in floodwaters to prevent contracting leptospirosis.”
Recent data culled by the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) indicated an increase in leptospirosis cases from January 1 to October 15 this year with 456 cases and 45 deaths, compared with last year’s 142 cases and seven deaths.
The health department said that San Lazaro Hospital has reported the highest number of cases and deaths at 226 and eight respectively, followed by Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center with 39 cases and four deaths, Quezon City General Hospital with 32 cases and three deaths, East Avenue Medical Center with 25 cases and 13 deaths, Ospital ng Makati with 18 cases and one death, and Quirino Memorial Medical center with 12 cases and two deaths.
The majority of cases affected male patients and those aged 15 to 30, according to the DOH-CHD-MM.
Aside from leptospirosis, Janairo also warned the public against contracting athlete’s foot when they expose their feet to floodwaters.
The infection is “highly transmissible,” said Janairo, who also advised the public “not to wear socks while using wet boots to avoid having blisters.”
“No matter how many times you treat your feet with ketoconazole ointment, once you tread again in floodwaters, the fungal infection will return,” Janairo warned.
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