THE weather has been very erratic lately.

On Tuesday evening, July 19, 2022, Davao City experienced some heavy rains. According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), "Moderate to heavy rain showers with lightning and strong winds are experienced in Davao City which may persist within one to two hours and may affect nearby areas."

Based on the weather updates of the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), heavy rains started in some portions of Davao City at around 6:30 p.m.

Some who were outside their homes when the rain happened would say that it was among the rainiest in the past few days.

But the crazy weather over the past weeks is nothing new. It can be observed that there are days when it can be very hot all throughout the day. At times, it can be gloomy or rainy for the whole day. There are also days when it is extremely hot in the morning and in the evening, we experience heavy rains. On some days, hot and rainy alternate throughout the day.

The bottom line is the weather has been erratic lately but at the same time, somewhat predictable. During these times, when it is hot in the morning or afternoon, we know that there is a high chance that it will rain in the evening. Somehow, this has become the climate of the city in recent weeks.

The abrupt changes in weather and the extreme temperatures at times, it is bound to take their toll on our bodies.

On days when it is extremely hot, there is the risk of heat exhaustion or a heat stroke. Pagasa said if the heat index is between 27C to 32C, fatigue is possible and continued activity could lead to heat cramps. If it is between 33C to 41C, heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible while continued activity could lead to heat stroke. These temperatures are regularly recorded by Pagasa across the country.

Meanwhile, during rains, there is the risk of getting a fever. But with the flooded streets, Dabawenyos are more at risk of getting leptospirosis.

According to the Department of Health, leptospirosis is caused by the Leptospira bacteria. The bacteria affects a person "through wounds when in contact with flood waters, vegetation, moist soil contaminated with the urine of infected animals, especially rats." Symptoms include fever; Non-specific symptoms of muscle pain, headache; Calf-muscle pain, and reddish eyes in some cases.

Some of the severe cases result in liver involvement, kidney failure, or brain involvement. Thus, some cases may have yellowish body discoloration, dark-colored urine and light stools, low urine output, and severe headache.

With the drastic weather changes, it is important that we take precautionary measures. On hot days, make sure to regularly drink water and avoid strenuous activities. On rainy days, be sure to get shelter or have an umbrella. When there is a flood, avoid going into the waters as much as possible. If you do find yourself in flood waters, make sure to thoroughly wash your feet and monitor for possible symptoms of leptospirosis.

Stay safe, Dabawenyos!