Davao records 24 leptospirosis cases-A A +A
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
FOLLOWING the death of a man in Davao City due to leptospirosis, 23 other cases have been monitored, health authorities said.
The victims come from seven barangays in the city, majority of whom are from barangays Matina Pangi, Matina Aplaya, Matina Crossing, Talomo proper, and Ma-a. These barangays have been adversely affected by the June 29 flashfloods.
Eduardo Ladrido, City Epidemiology Surveillance Unit chief, said that of the two persons diagnosed with the disease, only one died of leptospirosis. The other one died of an illness not related to it.
"Halo-halo na sila, nay bata, tigulang, basta katong mga naagian sa baha ang kasagaran na suspected na nagka lepto (There are children as well as adults especially those who came from areas affected by the flashfloods)," Ladrido said.
Landrido said a confirmatory clinical testing, which has a 100-percent reliable diagnosis of leptospirosis, is only available in Manila wherein tissues of suspected person inflicted with lesptospirosis will be cultured.
The entire process will take around three weeks, thus the time lapse before city authorities confirmed that such disease did strike flood victims.
The city, he added, make use of a diagnosis, taking into consideration various symptoms of leptospirosis, as well as taking into account the history of a patient or if the patient has been exposed to some risk factors like floods and the like.
Ladrido said the number leptospirosis cases are not alarming; thus, there is no need to declare a state of calamity.
Based on the latest data from the City Health Office, of the 22 suspected cases, half were from Barangay Matina Pangi while the remaining half were distributed in Barangays Aplaya, 1; Matina Balusong, 1; NHA Bangkal, 2; Bangkal Relocation, 1; Sasa, 1; and Mandug, 1.
Meanwhile, based on records from the Department of Health (DOH) in Davao Region, Davao City has the most number of leptospirosis for the whole 2010 with 14 cases.
Compostela Valley came next with seven cases, Davao del Oriental with three, Davao del Norte with two, and Davao del Sur with one.
Alfredo Directo, 56, died at the Brokenshire Hospital last July 13 after being diagnosed with leptospirosis.
Directo lived in Samantha Homes in Matina Pangi and his house was among those flooded last June 29.
The flashfloods claimed 30 lives and affected 13,746 families with 113,115 members.
Directo manifested the earlier flu-like symptoms of leptospirosis but did not immediately seek medical attention, thinking all he had was flu.
In its incubation period, leptospirosis can be cured or at least made less damaging through antibiotics; it being caused by the bacteria Leptospira interrogans, a corkscrew-shaped bacterium (spirochete).
According to the Department of Health, leptospirosis is caused by a bacterium called Leptospira interrogans. People are infected by this disease through contaminated animal urine that is usually transmitted through flood waters. It can enter the body through lesions in the skin, eyes or mucous membranes.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 19, 2011.