Leptospirosis inflicts 401, kills 9 in Olongapo-A A +A
Saturday, October 12, 2013
AS MANY as 401 cases of leptospirosis were confirmed by the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) from its latest data, with nine deaths recorded.
PNRC expects the number of cases to increase in the coming days as symptoms of the disease manifests after 10 days of incubation period.
The Department of Health (DOH), which works closely with the PNRC has earlier disclosed that they are still in the process of verifying the actual number of casualties and fatalities as well as those with complications.
One of the complications of leptospirosis is multiply organ failure, which according to the DOH will have to be treated through dialysis.
Dialysis is available at the James Gordon Memorial Hospital in Olongapo but according to media reports, the PNRC said that other non-leptospirosis patients were also undergoing dialysis, making the hospital not able to accommodate all.
The hospital is currently dealing with overcrowding but PNRC Chairman Richard Gordon assured that the situation will be kept under control.
Assistant Health secretary Eric Tayag recently urged suspected leptospirosis cases to take antiobiotics even before symptoms show.
He cautioned the public to stay away not just from flooded areas but also from mud or wet soil as these too, could also be affected by rat urine.
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. (PNA/Sunnex)