Leptospirosis cases in Quezon City drop

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - December 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government has reminded the public to be cautious against leptospirosis despite the 83 percent drop in cases this year.

Mayor Joy Belmonte welcomed the latest data from the city health department, which recorded 58 leptospirosis cases from Jan. 1 to Nov. 21.

The figure was lower than the 345 cases recorded during the same period last year.

Belmonte urged city residents to be wary of the disease, advising them to seek consultation if they manifest symptoms.

“We advise our citizens to wear protective gears such as boots when they cannot avoid wading through floodwaters and to cooperate with the city government during preemptive evacuation so they won’t get infected and risk their lives,” she said.

Rolando Cruz, head of the city’s epidemiology and disease surveillance unit, attributed the drop in leptospiroris cases to the aggressive prevention campaign and medical attention given to responders and communities affected by recent typhoons and flooding.

“We immediately gave antibiotics such as doxycycline to our responders and residents who were exposed to contaminated floodwaters. We were able to control the disease and we hope to maintain this until the end of the year,” Cruz said.

The National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) earlier reported a spike in leptospirosis cases due to flooding brought by Typhoon Ulysses in some parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

Among those who sought treatment at the NKTI came from Rizal, one of the areas heavily affected by the typhoon.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can lead to kidney damage, liver failure and death if left untreated. It is commonly spread through the urine or feces of infected animals, particularly rats.

Cruz advised residents, especially those who stayed in evacuation centers and living in areas affected by the recent flooding, to immediately consult with the city health department or the nearest barangay health center if they experience symptoms of the disease.

These include high fever, chills, muscle pain, redness of the eye, headache, vomiting, diarrhea and yellowish skin or jaundice.

“Leptospirosis is preventable and can be treated. Our advice to residents is to be alert for any symptoms and to seek early consultation,” Cruz said.

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