140 cases of leptospirosis noted among CDO flood victims

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/3 Jan) – Health officials here are scrambling to get ahead of the water-borne disease as slowly but steadily fatalities of Leptospirosis continue to climb, most of whom come from areas worst-hit by flash floods brought by tropical storm Sendong.

According to the latest monitor of the regional office of the Department of Health, there have been 140 cases of leptospirosis in this city alone, where most of those who contracted the disease are from barangay Consolacion, one of the two most devastated barangays in the flash floods last month.

In Consolacion, residents were gathered at the village’s covered court Tuesday for a double-dose of Doxycycline for the adults and Amoxycilin for children.

Emiliano Galban, DOH-10 spokesperson, said six persons have already died of the disease.

Dr. Joselito Retuya, city epidemiologist, said the disease has at least seven days incubation period after which symptoms will begin to surface.

He said symptoms include high fever, reddening of the eyes, headaches and muscle pains concentrated usually in the leg muscles.

“If treated late in its progression, the patient may experience renal failure,” Retuya said.

Leptospirosis is reportedly caused by exposure to several types of the Leptospira bacteria, which can be found in fresh water that has been contaminated by animal urine.

Retuya also said not to be complacent now that running water has resumed in most parts of the flood affected areas and to “always boil water they intend to drink for at least 10 minutes.” (Cong B. Corrales / MindaNews)