Leptospirosis cases rise in Davao

Subscribe Now February 08, 2013 at 08:24am

The City Health Office (CHO) of Davao has recorded a total of 28 cases of leptospirosis in just one week from flooded areas in this city. Four of the victims have died. CHO chief Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said Thursday they have been receiving reports since Sunday that leptospirosis cases are rising in several villages that were hit by floods weeks ago.

Villafuerte said they have recorded 27 cases with three deaths, but this increased to 28 with four deaths after few minutes, as she continued to receive reports from CHO monitoring teams.

Based on CHO data, the city's poblacion area recorded the highest number of cases with 10, followed by Talomo North with five, while Buhangin has four. One case each was recorded in Agdao, Baguio, Marilog, Toril and Tugbok.

Villafuerte said those who died due to leptospirosis were from Tugbok, Matina-Gravahan, and Bacaca -- areas hardest hit by floods on January 20 after Davao River overflowed due to continuous rainfall.

The fourth mortality was recorded in Barangay 2-A in the poblacion area, she said.

"We started to receive reports of infected people last weekend, which started from four cases with one death," she said.

Leptospirosis is an infection that can be transmitted from animals, mostly rodents, through their urine, to humans with open wounds.

Villafuerte said leptospirosis has an incubation period of 27 days, hence there is a huge possibility that the number of cases will soar.

According to the Health Protection Agency, symptoms usually develop 7-21 days after initial infection with leptospires, though rarely the incubation period can be as short as two to three days or as long as 30 days.

Villafuerte said most of the victims were infected due to the flood in the city last January 20.

She said infection with leptospirosis can cause no symptoms at all since it usually comes in a form of ordinary flu, in which a person infected may only suffer from headache and severe body pain.

"It could be treated. You just don't go to hospital late. If you go to hospital, tell the doctor na gikan ka sa naapektohan na lugar," Villafuerte said.

"We don't have to wait na manilaw tayo. If treated late, it will be fatal because it leads to organ failure," she added.

The CHO head also recommended health advisories for the barangays and hospitals regarding the signs and symptoms of leptospirosis.

She added that antibiotics for treatment of the infection should also be provided.

Source: sunstar.com.ph

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