Leptospirosis claims 6 lives in Olongapo-A A +A
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
OLONGAPO CITY -- Six deaths have been recorded while 175 cases of leptospirosis have been diagnosed at the James L Gordon Memorial Hospital here, a week after massive flooding hit the city.
Dr. Gewel Manuel said victims diagnosed with leptospirosis swamped the emergency room of the hospital Monday afternoon.
“Most of them are complaining about fever and our initial diagnosis is leptospirosis,” Manuel said.
Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino had asked for assistance from the Philippine National Red Cross headed by former senator Richard Gordon.
“They have already sent more than 20 beds, volunteers, ambulances to help us in this situation,” Paulino said.
Manuel explained that most of the victims are male, and that the cause most probably was the recent flooding that hit the city.
“Most of the victims came from Barangay Sta. Rita, which was heavily flooded last week,” he said.
Representatives from the Department of Health have coordinated with local officials about the matter.
Paulino, on his Facebook page, appealed to residents that should they suffer any symptom of the dreaded leptospirosis, they should get in touch with their respective health centers or go straight to the hospital so they can be given proper medication and care.
The City Health Office, together with barangay health units, is now monitoring the situation in the barangay level and is handing out information materials and medicine in case they diagnose anyone with leptospirosis.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) website, “leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects both humans and animals. Humans become infected through direct contact with the urine of infected animals or with a urine-contaminated environment. The bacteria enter the body through cuts or abrasions on the skin, or through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes. Person-to-person transmission is rare.”
“In the early stages of the disease, symptoms include high fever, severe headache, muscle pain, chills, redness of the eyes, abdominal pain, jaundice, hemorrhages in the skin and mucous membranes, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash,” WHO added. (Sun.Star Pampanga/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on October 10, 2013.