Science and Environment

People living in higher areas face lepto risk, too


MANILA, Philippines - Metro Manila residents who have been spared from the massive floods are being warned that disease-carrying rats may be moving into higher ground and could likewise put them at risk to the dreaded leptospirosis disease.

“It is not only people who flee their homes during the floods, rats, too, go to higher ground for safety and likewise bring the diseases that they carry with them. It is not only through floodwaters that people are at risk of incurring leptospirosis, they can likewise be exposed to it through the soil that has been contaminated by the urine of infected rats,” says Mari-Gail Lasam-Cruz, marketing manager for Bayer Advanced Racumin in the country.

At least 140 people have died of leptospirosis since tropical “Ondoy” hit the country. More than a thousand, meanwhile, are affected by the disease and are undergoing treatment in government hospitals.

Chief disease carriers

Leptospirosis is an infection that is caused by direct contact to the urine of an infected animal. Rats are said to be the chief carriers of this disease that leads to far more serious health conditions like meningitis and inflammation of the nerves, and gravely affects such organs as the liver, lungs, kidneys, and the heart.

According to Cruz, rats can multiply at a staggering rate. “There are 3.6 million rats that are born each day and each one of them is a potential carrier of leptospirosis,” she says.

Cruz laments the fact that despite this known threat, many people are still not taking an active stance in eradicating these disease-carrying rodents.

To effectively eradicate the risk of developing rat-borne diseases like leptospirosis, Cruz says “commitment, continuous vigilance and community involvement” are necessary.

“One of the ways in which you can protect or win back your home from these pests is to commit yourself to understanding their behavior. Be vigilant and likewise encourage the involvement of the entire community,” advises Cruz.

Intelligent creatures

One of the facts that people should remember is that rats are intelligent and adaptable creatures. Proof of this is their ability to outwit the several means with which men have tried to eradicate them. Snap traps, glue boards, zapper traps, and most recently instant-kill rat poisons all proved unsuccessful through the years.

Racumin from world-trusted Bayer, however, is one product that they have yet to outwit though. For one, Racumin counters “bait shyness.”

“The main reason why most rats learn how to outsmart other products is that they can immediately observe the effect they have on poisoned rats,” explains Cruz.

Racumin has a delayed killing action, as it takes effect after a couple of days so that rats would not know that it was actually the product that killed their fellow rodents. It contains Coumatetralyl, a potent active ingredient that causes rats’ demise.

Racumin Paste also contains Bitrex, which lessens its palatability to other creatures while being practically irresistible to rats.

If you have a mice problem instead of a rat problem, Racumin Ready-Made Bait takes advantage of mice’s nibbling behavior and love for cereals to lure them to their demise.

To help you detect the presence of rats, meanwhile, there’s Racumin Tracking Powder. Rats will lick the powder that sticks to their fur and get a lethal dose while leaving marks that can help find out where they nest.

It is also important to remember that good housekeeping and sanitation are basic factors in rat control. By simply depriving these pests of the food, water and harborage they need, people are already doing a lot to reduce the population.

“Protecting our homes and our communities is a role that we should all take — whether it is from the floodwaters that the heavy rainfall has caused or the diseases that threaten our life and the lives of our loved ones,” Cruz says.









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