Capitol: No leptospirosis outbreak in Iloilo-A A +A
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
THE Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Iloilo reported Tuesday that there is no outbreak of leptospirosis in the province.
Provincial administrator Raul Banias said there is an increase in the occurrence of leptospirosis in several towns of the province, but it is not considered an outbreak.
Outbreak is a term used in epidemiology to describe an occurrence of disease greater than would otherwise be expected at a particular time and place.
The Provincial Epidemiology Surveillance Unit of the Provincial Health Office recorded only 12 new leptospirosis cases from August 6-13, 2011.
However, clustered cases have been noted in Barangays Gaub and Pungtod in Cabatuan and Paloc Sool in Dumangas.
Assistant provincial health officer Ma. Socorro Colmenares-Quiñon said they already alerted the health workers in the said barangays to monitor the situation.
She said the municipalities have their own supplies of doxycycline, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.
The Provincial Government has also allotted an additional P150,000 for the purchase of the said drug.
Banias assured that the Provincial Government is on top of the situation and that the cases of the disease are manageable.
Quiñon said the rise of leptospirosis cases could be attributed to the rainy season and the resurgence of rat infestation in the area.
It was learned that hundreds of hectare of rice lands in several towns of the province are currently hit by rats, reason why most of those affected by the illness are farmers, and mostly males.
Thus, the health officer warned farmers to avoid wading on the farm if they have open wounds.
Leptospirosis is an infection usually transmitted to humans from water contaminated by animal urine (usually rats), and comes in contact with lesion in the skin, eyes, or with the mucous membranes.
Meanwhile, representatives from the World Health Organization's Emerging Disease Surveillance and Response are currently in Iloilo to help monitor and address the rising leptospirosis cases.
They have offered assistance by providing rapid test kits to be used in Iloilo Provincial Hospital in Pototan and in the district hospitals of Dumangas, Calinog, and Cabatuan.
PHO data show that from January 1 to August 13 this year, leptospirosis in the province reach a total of 181 cases with 14 deaths.
The top six municipalities with the most number of recorded cases are: Cabatuan - 38 cases (one death); Dumangas - 27 cases (four deaths); Sta. Barbara - 17 cases (one death); Mina - 10 cases; New Lucena - eight cases (one death); and Oton - eight cases (one death). (ECG)