Leptospirosis kills 4 flood victims in Davao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/7 February) — Four persons have died due to leptospirosis from areas affected by the flooding last month, the City Health Office (CHO) said Thursday.

Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, CHO chief, said they recorded a total of 28 leptospirosis cases, with the four fatalities coming from the
Magallanes River Side, Bacaca, Gravahan and Tugbok areas.

The other areas where the disease were monitored include the districts of Agdao, Baguio, Marilog, Toril, Talomo North, Buhangin, District A and District B.

She said the cases in areas not affected by the flooding were caused by leptospira found in stagnant water, such as in Marilog district.

Leptospirosis is caused by the leptospira bacteria that can be found in water contaminated by animal urine such as rodents.

The CHO recommended that the barangays should issue health advisories on the symptoms of leptospirosis, and where to seek consultation or treatment.

Based on the health advisory of the Department of Health, leptospira infects a person by penetrating through the skin with open wounds.

The bacteria may come from floodwater, damp soil or other things contaminated by rat’s urine infected with leptospira.

The symptoms include fever, chills, headache, flu, muscle pain, joint aches, skin rash, less urination and redness of the eyes, the advisory said.

Villafuerte advised the public to immediately go to the nearest hospital or health center if they have symptoms of such disease.

“Don’t wait for your skin to turn yellowish before going to the hospital,” she said, adding that the disease is fatal when not treated

If one has fever for two days and was exposed to flood water, one must consult the nearest health center, Villafuerte said.

Leptospirosis can be avoided by wearing boots when walking on dirty water and by preventing the proliferation of rodents in the house by maintaining a clean surrounding.

Villafuerte said that supplies of prophylaxis to treat leptospirosis are available in health centers in the city. (Lorie Ann A.